'Zimbabwe Airways is Zimbabwean airline.One of the planes which arrived in April of 2018 was registered as Z-RGM.

Zimbabwe Airways
IATA ICAO Callsign
UM ZWA ZIMBABWE Airways
Founded 2 April 1980
Hubs
Company slogan Zimbabwean hospitality in the skies
Headquarters Harare International Airport, Harare, Zimbabwe
Key people
  •  (CEO)
Website www.airzimbabwe.aero

Contents

Background

In October of 2016 government entered into an agreement with the Malaysian Airline System Berha for the sale and purchase of four Boeng 777-200 ER aircraft manufacturer's serial numbers

The agreement was signed by Joram Gumbo and Walter Chidhakwa the former minister of mines on October 10, 2016.In the terms and conditions of this agreement also signed by Lim San Peen of Malaysia, the parties agreed the aircraft are made available for sale on the basis that they are solely used to be used for commercial aviation purposes.The intended operator of the airline under the agreement is Air Zimbabwe Private Limited.

It is alleged that Gumbo and his associates later decided to buy two Boeing 777s for 18.5 Million United States Dollars and 16.5 Million United States Dollars, a total of 35 Million United States Dollars. It is also alleged that it was resolved to buy two Embraers for 6 million United States Dollars using Treasury Bills, bringing the total to $Us 41 million.

Ownership of the Airline

The ownership of the airline was debatable as government officials tended to issue conflicting statements, with regards to Zimbabwe Aviation Leasing Company ZALC the company which owns the airlines.

It was assumed that Zimbabwe Airways is owned by a local firm, Zimbabwe Aviation Leasing Company (ZALC). The company was formed by an identified group of Zimbabwean investors, among them lawyers and businesspersons with interests in the aviation industry. Some of the ZALC shareholders are said to be based in the diaspora.


Although Gumbo said it was a private company, official documents showed Zim Airways directors are Ministry of transport officials including legal affairs head Angeline Karonga and Principal Director Eric Gumbi.Karonga denied that she was linked to the airline.

Documents also showed that Harare Lawyer Phillipa Phillips was one of the directors together with another lawyer Gift Watinaye. It was also alleged that ZimAirways was operating from former Psmas Manager Mavis Gumbo's Gletwin house.

The deeds office where companies are registered indicated that Zimbabwe Aviation leasing Company was registered under the following number 3015/12.It was alleged that the file of the reistration of the company was missing from the deeds office.[1].

Documents further show that Airzim was initially involved in the purchase of the Planes.It was also claimed that government later sidelined it along the way as was shown by correspondences between the airline and the government officials.

In November 2016, Airzim wrote to the state procurement board SPB principal officer requesting approval for the purchase of four planes from PriceWaterhouseCoppers of Kualar Lumpur.


Joram Gumbo's statement

Minister of Transport Joram Gumbo insisted that the airline is owned by a consortium of local and foreign-based Zimbabwean business people.Initially, Gumbo maintained that the Airline belonged to Zimbabweans in the diaspora.[2].

Gumbo consistently said ZALC was owned by Zimbabweans living in the Diaspora and that it had funded the purchase of the planes. Gumbo said that


“So I started negotiations to buy, and so I informed government that I had clinched a deal with Air Malaysia to buy four Boeing 777 planes at $70 million for all of them and I thought this was a good deal for Zimbabwe. But again, government failed to raise the money. I was buying these for Air Zimbabwe.

“So, after government introduced the policy to engage the Diaspora to invest in the country, I reached out to them. There was a group in London and another in Dubai.

“I engaged them to say here is an opportunity if you are interested. My role as minister of Transport is to ensure that there is activity in the country. Therefore, I facilitated for one of these groups to negotiate with Air Malaysia through PWC (Price Waterhouse Coopers auditors).

“This group then formed the Zimbabwe Aviation Leasing Company. They have now managed to purchase some of the planes. They have now paid for two planes and they are raising money to pay for the other two
.

Chinamasa's statement

Chinamasa who officiated at the delivery of one of the planes said Zim Airways was wholly owned by government contrary to Gumbo's claims.Chinamasa said that the airline was not owned by the Mugabe family.He also said that ZALC was owned by the Government and not individuals as once claimed by Gumbo.


Speaking at a function at Robert Mugabe International Airport yesterday to receive the first Zim Airways plane — a Boeing B777 — Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa stunned journalists when he said ZALC was a government company which it had used to acquire the planes from Malaysia, allegedly as a strategy to overcome sanctions.

Chinamasa did not produce documents to support his claims.Aviation sources claimed that Zim Airways was not yet registered as a carrier upon the arrival of the first plane, even though Chinamasa on behalf of the government claimed it was already leasing planes from Air Zim through ZALC.

Treasurey's claim

Treasury claimed that ZALC the company responsible for the airlines was formed after realizing that there was no future for the debt-ridden Air Zimbabwe.


Robert Mugabe's involvement

It was alleged that the airline is owned by Robert Mugabe and his family. The allegations came after the company registration documents were discovered to be missing at Company Registration. The fact that Transport Minister Joram Gumbo and Air Zimbabwe Chief Operating Officer Simba Chikore were influential in negotiating for the planes from Malaysia only raised the suspicions.

Simba Chikore was also present when one of the planes arrived at the Robert Mugabe International Airport which cemented the suspicion that the former first family had a stake in the airline.

Management problems

In June of 2018, it was alleged that the airline was experiencing management problems as evidenced by some workers leaving the airline. It was also alleged that the airline was also experiencing high staff turn over[3]. InJanuary 2018 it was alleged that almost 12 workers had left the company through resignations and some were fired by Simba Chikore who was believed to be helping the Government to set up the airline.


References

  1. [www.newsdzezimbabwe.co.uk/2018/04/zimbabwe-airways-battle-to-cover-tracks.html], ZimAirways:Battle to cover tracks, Published: DATE_PUBLISHED_HERE , Retrieved: 16 April 2016
  2. [1], Zim Airways: Government not telling the truth, Published: 15 April 2018, Retrieved: 16 April 2018
  3. Mugabe-linked airline in trouble - The Standard, The Standard, retrieved: 27 Jun 2018