Air Zimbabwe property attached


The Deputy Sheriff in Harare on Friday attached property belonging to embattled national airline, Air Zimbabwe, over salaries owed to retrenched employees.

The amount involved is said to be $250 000.

At least six vehicles belonging to senior managers were taken away. Also attached were two buses and two minibuses.

Sources told NewsDay the airline had been dragged to court after it failed to pay retrenchment packages.

“On Friday last week some of the managers had their cars taken away by the deputy sheriff over money owed to employees that were retrenched,” sources said.

Contacted for comment Air Zimbabwe board chairperson Jonathan Kadzura confirmed the development but said the issue was far from being concluded.

The office of the deputy sheriff confirmed that it had received a writ of execution but said it was yet to approach Air Zimbabwe.

However, Caleb Mucheche of Matsikidze and Mucheche law firm yesterday confirmed that property belonging to Air Zimbabwe had been attached on Friday.

“It happened late on Friday but for more details on what exactly was taken away you can contact the deputy sheriff,” he said.

Selby Hwacha of Dube, Manikai and Hwacha, the lawyers representing Air Zimbabwe, confirmed some property had been attached but said “an urgent chamber application has since been lodged seeking a stay of execution”.

NewsDay could, however, not ascertain the outcome of the chamber application at the time of going to print.

Mucheche, whose law firm has been representing 409 retrenched Air Zimbabwe workers, in April last year approached the High Court seeking to have $1,3 million awarded to them by an independent arbitrator in 2009 confirmed by the court.

The arbitrator awarded $1,3 million to the workers covering November and December 2009.

At the time the airline was ordered to pay the workers outstanding salaries, benefits and bonuses as well as litigation costs.

. . . as industrial action costs airline $2m

The ongoing industrial action by pilots at Air Zimbabwe has reportedly cost the airline $2 million in lost potential revenue.

Pilots at Air Zimbabwe have been on strike for last two weeks demanding their salaries. In a bid to avert the crisis Air Zimbabwe management has since enlisted the services of Zambezi Airlines to transport people schedule to fly with the airline.

“Zambezi Airlines is charging $2 400 per hour to fly customers on behalf of Air Zimbabwe,” sources said.

“On average they are paid for a four to five-hour job.”

However, passengers that used Zambezi Airlines have complained of the erratic service they were being given.

It is understood the airline owes workers outstanding salaries and allowances totalling $9 million.