Water Resources Development and Management minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo on Thursday said he was forced into the economy section of Air Zimbabwe’s Bulawayo flight to make way for President Robert Mugabe’s delegation.
President Mugabe was on his way to the National University of Science and Technology graduation ceremony where he capped 1 234 graduands.
Nkomo was mentioned among ministers who had accompanied President Mugabe to the graduation ceremony, but yesterday he said he only happened to be on the same flight with the veteran ruler.
“I was not accompanying the President,” he said.
“I was actually downgraded from business class to economy to make way for the President’s entourage to Bulawayo.”
The minister said he arrived at Harare International Airport at 6:30am for the flight to Bulawayo, which only took off at 9am as they waited for the President and his entourage.
As if the long wait was not enough, Nkomo was told to move from the business class to economy.
“They (Air Zimbabwe officials) said they were sorry that I had been downgraded from business class to economy because the President was travelling to Bulawayo,” he said.
Contacted for comment, Air Zimbabwe board chairman Jonathan Kadzura yesterday said the minister had to make way for the President because he was more senior.
“I am the President’s minister, appointed by him and I see no reason why I was downgraded to economy class,” Nkomo complained.