State should bail out Air Zim

GWERU — Tourism and Hospitality minister Walter Mzembi has criticised “elements in government” for obstructing the bailout of troubled Air Zimbabwe, saying their actions will adversely affect the tourism industry in the country.

Report by Blessed Mhlanga/Rutendo Mawere

Mzembi told journalists in Gweru on Wednesday that the airline was a critical component of the revival of the country’s tourism sector. For the sector to flourish, he said, the government should play its supporting role.

“Let me say of the 980 million arrivals recorded in global tourism in 2011, 51% arrived by air, which means a reliable national airliner cannot be discounted and, therefore, the government should play its part in subsidising Air Zimbabwe,” the Tourism minister said.

Mzembi, who pledged to keep his “mouth shut” over the problems bedevilling the national carrier, however, said he was not happy with the wrangling on whether the government should bail the ailing national airline out or not.

“There are other elements in the inclusive government who are complaining about expenditure towards Air Zimbabwe . . . $50 million to bail the national airliner out is nothing compared to the benefits it brings to tourism and the economy,” he said.

Mzembi cited the example of South Africa where the national airliner’s board resigned in protest over government’s failure to fund operations of the loss-making South African Airways.

He also said the government was looking at various options to save Air Zim, which included finding a suitable investor to partner the government or to go back into history and have a national carrier which will service the entire Southern Africa region.

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10 Comments

  1. CHIKADOTA baRWIZI

    air zim is actually a case study of what follows when a parastetal is politicised! remove ghost and underqualified employees and then fund the national airline.

  2. Mutasa Mudhidhimas

    Kuisa mari muAir Zim is like pouring water in a bottomless pit.its an exercise in futility.You have to correct a lot of things.1.The airline is overstuffed coz maboss eparty yaMzembi akazadza company nehama pamwe nemahure awo.2 Maboss echiparty ichocho haadi kugara pasi zvekuti ndege inotodivertwa from route leaving customers stranded.Do you think next time they will travel with that airline .3 The name of the airline is soiled and even bailing it out will not help.4 Nicholas Goche and previous Min from Zanu pf have failed in running the airline so u want the taxpayer to pay for a perpetuation of failure?They ran down NOCZIM,NRZ,ZUPCO,ZESA etc.What we need is a change of personnel at Munhumutapa

  3. bail out te airline the move by SA airline managers is wat is needed

  4. The government has no money,we need to attend to salaries and bonuses for the civil servants. These parastatals must be sold or find a suitable partner. To fork out millions of dollars so that the money will be spent on t&s and hotels is unfair gentlemen and ladies. We appear as if we are mentally retarded somehow. Minister Mzembi I donot think you have seen how we Zimbabweans have destroyed this nation. It is far much better not to have this animal called Air Zimbabwe. The government has serious issues to attend to.

  5. As long as we are not business minded and try to run an airline like a political party. Just look at the people who were at airzimnbabwe, from the chief to the senior managers, not professional. They never thought about the company but themselves only. First get everybdoy at airzim out, completely wiping out air zimbabwe. Sell every asset there and pay off all the workers. Get a very new professional team, put in Chiyadzwa diamond money into acquiring those small durable planes ( like what Botswana has), start off with the region and local desitinations. Just get a technical attache from SAA, ( they are professionally running that entity are they not?). In 2 or so years we will be back to Dubai, London, New York, Frankfurt and Bayen Munich, Paris and Zhingzhong cities. Not this situation where relatives are being dumped at the airline even if they have nothing to do all they are there is to be on the airline salary roll. Guys let us get rid of politicians in this country for a while so that we mau take Zimbabwe back to the glory days.

  6. The minister must not use his recently acquired star status to make a fool of all of us and himself..what killed Air Zim in the first place? What has changed that he would want it fished out of the sewage pond it flew itself into..If it is run by real professionals why dont they get out of the mess they drove themselves into? Air Zimbabwe is not the first airline to fold, why is it still in the news? Burying that clueless ‘bird’ was an act of kindness to the airline, just look at what it was doing to itself..From 14 planes to 3 in 2008..this is an organisation that was eating itself and everything else around it. Like the Zimdollar, ZUPCO and other moribund institutions..it safer dead than alive!

  7. Just privatise this hopeless, loss-making, poorly managed parastal! Its management is highly incompetent and you know why! Its run by the “English” only! Detribalise it!

  8. Privatise (don’t black empower) and remove all restrictions on the sector. Locals dont have the capacity for technological transfer. We want to be all over and now we are spreading ourselves thin. Let the whites run these industries or we risk going back to the stone age.

  9. Minister Mzembi, the sate also needs to be bailed out first and foremost. Govt haina mari its not a secret. I thought people like yourself knows it better than the general populace which we are trying to fool. thats the problem in Zpf. even when things are are clear as mud, you still consider it good and would want to drink from that well. shame shame.

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