ED ditches AirZim for Swiss luxury jet

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday ditched the struggling Air Zimbabwe and hired a private Swiss luxury jet to fly him to Tanzania for a meeting with his counterpart, John Magufuli.

BY XOLISANI NCUBE

According to government sources, Mnangagwa ignored Air Zimbabwe which had charged him $131 000 for his two-day trip to Tanzania and opted for the luxurious jet — Comlux — headquartered in Switzerland with a global presence around the world. The plane, according to sources, flew from its Swiss base to Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport to fetch the President. In April, Mnangagwa reportedly blew $2,3 million to charter the same plane on his State visit to Beijing, China.

“The Office of President had approached Air Zimbabwe for a quote on how much they would charge the President, for a regional trip, but we were all surprised when he opted to hire the private jet. Normally, regional routes are given to Air Zimbabwe, but we don’t understand why he opted otherwise,” said a senior government official.

Presidential spokesperson George Charamba was not available for comment as he was said to have travelled together with Mnangagwa. At the time of going to print last night, Charamba had not responded to a text message sent to him, but sources said the decision to hire Comlux was made on Tuesday while Air Zimbabwe was only informed on Wednesday evening.

“The bookings for the presidential flights are normally made by the department of protocol in the OPC and we still don’t know why the national airline was left out,” another source said.

Attempts to get a quotation from Comlux were fruitless as their marketing department had not responded to emailed questions from NewsDay.

Mnangagwa’s special adviser, Christopher Mutsvangwa said: “I don’t know really because I am in Norton campaigning, but I think it is because he is due to proceed to the AU (African Union) Summit in Mauritania so that could be the reason, but as I said, I am not in office at the moment.”

Mnangagwa is supposed to join 30 other Heads of State and government in Nouakchott, the Mauritanian capital for an ordinary session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government meeting.

Since he took over from former President Robert Mugabe last November, Mnangagwa has been accused of snubbing the limping national airline, preferring expensive chartered private jets.

In January, Mnangagwa also hired a private jet to Davos, Switzerland, as well as when he travelled to South Africa early this year.

Internationally-recognised rating agent, S&P Global, indicates that Comlux is rated as an integrated group in the aviation sector specialising in Airbus and Boeing, with the former typically chartered by Heads of State, royal families, business leaders or sports teams.

The aircraft includes a private bedroom with en-suite bathroom, office, dining and living room, plus room for entourage and staff.

It has cargo space for over 250 bags, and can even transport multiple cars.

Efforts to get comment from Foreign Affairs permanent secretary, Joey Bimha were fruitless.

The new Zanu PF leader, who seems to have taken over from where Mugabe left in terms of trips outside the country, has been to Mozambique, twice to Botswana, Namibia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Angola, Rwanda, Ethiopia and the Ivory Coast within three months.

18 Comments

  1. the trappings of power! so early! better abaye asati amera ndebvu refu!

  2. THESE BUGGERS DO NOT UNDERSTAND MONEY , KRAP

  3. Saka mnangagwa aitochiva zvaitwa na RG. bullshit this men is not good at all first l want to askey u mr E.Dwhere is ltayi Dzamara

  4. Heads of state have to travel, there is nothing strange about this. Being the chief executive of the country also necessitates that he travel in a manner befitting of his stature. We can hardly compare EDs travels with that of the former president who had a real penchant for foreign travel with bloated entourages.

    1. So Air Zim is not befitting, ludicrous…

  5. Mugabe must have taught him well but it seems he is blowing even more money getting a plane all the way from Swiss. Wish these leaders could do with a bit of more common sense.

  6. Why not use FastJet? padhuze shuwa shuwa!!??? nikisi!!!

  7. Life father like son , he is following his father evil Mugabe’s footsteps , for sure aitochiva hupenyu hwaMugabe .

  8. yah paku driver windi fo sure

  9. The president has the right to choose the way he feels is the safest to travel considering the fact that terorists apear to be after him these days. Nobody knows what his intelligence might have informed him with regard to the use of other airliners.

  10. kutya kudonhedzwa ne G40

  11. The Way Forward Zimbabwe

    It’s too risky for the President to travel in those Air Zimbabwe planes at this stage. One loose screw in the plane’s mechanics and the President is gone (note there’s potentially many loose screws in theses planes), and/or sabotage by G40 planted Air Zim employees still enjoying ED’s benevolence

  12. Why don’t we leave the President to conduct all positive government business & progressive state functions in peace? Consider the benefits such foreign trips are going to bring to our nation first and for most. Such enterferences will hardly take this country forward. Some of us have only succeeded in mastering the art of criticism & yet nothing positive comes out of such evil machinations.

  13. There is still the presence of Simba at Air Zim or Zim Airways whatever. If they could plant a bomb at the podium in Byo, think about how convenient it would be to plant one muchindege chenyu ichocho. Maruuuuuza hahaha

  14. You see, same old s..t but just different ‘you know what’.

  15. No different to the previous turd.

  16. Comment…kudlaliswa imali.ngapha bathi ilizwe alila mali

  17. can anyone blame ED after what happened at White City stadium?

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