Movement for Democratic change Shadow Minister for Finance Tapiwa Mashakada says a $4 billion economy, like Zimbabwe’s, has no capacity to invest in the airline business.
“What I recommend, is to take a brave step to open up, commercialise, privatise it, find new investors who can bring in the equipment, planes and take over all the routes that were operated by Air Zimbabwe,” he told Parliament.
“Government will then remain with a regulatory function to make sure that all things are done above board.
“This is not a new model. If you look at the Kenyan Airlines, today the Kenyan Airlines in Africa is second to Ethiopian Airlines. The magic is very simple, they partnered KLM, the Royal Dutch Airlines and allowed the airline to run commercially, professionally and viably.
“You do not have to burden yourself with appointing board of directors and this and that. Let it be done as a private entity.
“That will improve operational efficiency because the problem with Government having to appoint board of directors is that once a Minister leaves that portfolio, a new Minister comes, tries to change the board and interferes in the operation of that airline. Whatever reforms or changes the previous Minister would have made would be reversed.
“I recommend to the Minister that, better explore the privatisation route, it is profitable and it does not bring headaches to Government because we do not have enough resources,” he said.
HON. DR. MASHAKADA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for this opportunity. I want to start by thanking the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Hon. Dr. Gumbo for his clear presentation and also thank him for the effort that he is doing to turnaround the transport portfolio. Be that as it may, I wish to raise the following issues for his attention.
In my respectful and humble view, Air Zimbabwe is saddled by two basic problems which are at the core of the restructuring strategies that you might wish to adopt. The first problem is the problem of ownership and control. The second one is the problem of budgetary resources. Any solution that is going to be found around the problems bedeviling Air Zimbabwe has to address these two major issues.
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