Zimbabwe Airways saga deepens

In a dramatic development which further shines the spotlight on Zimbabwe Airways – an opaque new airline which was suspected to have close links with former president Robert Mugabe’s family – the government said yesterday that it owned the controversial airline which has acquired four wide-bodied planes from Malaysia.

The surprising claim contradicts Transport minister Joram Gumbo who has consistently said that the little-known corporate outfit, the Zimbabwe Aviation Leasing Company owned Zimbabwe Airways.

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 Mayalsia, allegedly as a strategy to overcome sanctions.

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