A motion calling upon the government to put Air Zimbabwe’s fleet to pasture has been sitting in the House of Assembly’s Order paper for more than a month now.
The motion to be introduced by MDC-T legislator for Luveve, Reggie Moyo, and to be seconded by Buhera South MP Naison Nemadziva seeks to push the government to privatise the struggling airline.
The motion also raises concern that the government, which is the major shareholder at Air Zimbabwe, had failed to come up with a comprehensive turnaround strategy for the country’s airline.
“I would like to give notice to move a motion standing in my name that this House be aware that Air Zimbabwe has been operating at a loss since 1990 and that the current majority shareholder, which is the government of Zimbabwe, has failed to initiate a sound turnaround strategy for this parastatal,” Moyo said.
“We are further concerned that the current fleet is old, outdated and beyond resuscitation and worried by the serious erosion of brand Zimbabwe by the airline nationally and internationally,” he said.
Moyo continued: “We now therefore call upon the government of Zimbabwe to put the current fleet to pasture and privatise Air Zimbabwe.”
In October, Air Zimbabwe acting CEO Innocent Mavhunga told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on State Parastatals and Enterprise Management chaired by Zvishavane-Runde MP, Lawrence David Mavima, the airline was currently bedevilled with a $137,7 million debt, a total of $112, 7 million as an internal debt and $25 million in external debts.
An Air Zimbabwe Boeing 767-200 plane was on Monday impounded upon landing at Gatwick Airport in London over a $1,2 million debt.
Last week another Air Zimbabwe plane was briefly detained at OR International Airport in South Africa over a $500 000 cargo handling debt.
When he appeared before the same committee in June this year, State Enterprises and Parastatals minister Gorden Moyo said finding an investor to buy the ailing airline might prove a mammoth task due to its almost “rotten” state.
“It may not be easy to sell Air Zimbabwe right now even if you want to offload it because you may not find a taker because of its condition,” Moyo told the committee.