A recently acquired AirZim Boeing 777 jet has reportedly been snubbed by Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa. Sources from the national airliner and Civil Aviation Authority (CAAZ) said the President’s office has not shown any interest in using the plane for the number 1 as was hoped. It is not clear why Mnangagwa will not use the plane.
The plane purchased from Malaysia is more than 10 years old and has bad safety history after one of them vanished from the skies. Flight MH370 disappeared from Radar a few minutes after take off with 227 passengers on board in March 2014 a move which prompted the Malaysian airline to dispose entire Boeing 777 fleet. One official with CAAZ said fear of the plane missing may have prompted the President to ditch the new jet. ‘I am sure it is more to do with safety issues as you are aware Boeing planes are not the safest at the moment the maker has issues the Max also. Despite the challenges I still think the 777 is safe we are yet to hear of any issue since the 2014 one and there is no legit reason for our President to fear flying it’.
Millions of scarce foreign currency will be wasted on hiring private jet from Dubai. Since taking over from the late Robert Mugabe in a coup Emmerson Mnangagwa has been blowing millions on chartered flights. Comlux the owners of the luxury jet which Mnangagwa uses charge U$30,000.00 per hour and in 2019 alone the President blew over U$15 Million.
An official with National carrier Air Zimbabwe questioned the wisdom of spending millions on private foreign companies instead of giving it to the state owned company. ‘All the money used since his coup was enough to get us two good jets, why give money to foreign companies? We cry unemployment because we lack a leader’. The official dismissed safety fears telling Dangwe News President Mugabe used old Boeing 737 which was over 30 years old and not one day did he have technical issues. President Mnangagwa has this year not travelled much, missing out on WEF Davos as he was not invited under category 1 for heads of states.
Meanwhile the state carrier has not yet started using the jet as plans are under away to reintroduce the busy Harare to London flight. The almost broke airline owes landing and handling fees to various companies in China, UK and South Africa. Top management at the airline fear the plane will be impounded if it lands at Heathrow or Gatwick without first settling debts.