President Emmerson Mnangagwa is reported to have ordered a full investigation to look into the ownership of new airline, Zimbabwe Airways. The president also ordered Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development Jorum Gumbo to have the planes brought to Zimbabwe while the investigation takes place. The planes are alleged to have been purchased from Malaysia Airlines using taxpayer funds from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
The owners of the new planes are yet to be revealed as contrasting details have been released by government officials. However, Gumbo and Simba Chikore, son-in-law to former president Robert Mugabe were heavily involved in the deal to set up the airline. President Robert Mugabe’s family has also been alleged to have been the ones behind the airline. A senior official who spoke to the Zimbabwe Independent said,
About $34 million was paid for through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for the two Boeing 777s using public funds. The planes cost US$18 million and US$16 million each.
ED was alarmed by the deal after repeatedly receiving conflicting briefings on it, prompting him to demand a full report and an investigation to ascertain the ownership structure, organisation and control of the airline as well as its relationship with Air Zimbabwe.
More: The Zimbabwe Independent