MP says if you inject $10 billion into Air Zimbabwe today, they will be back asking for more money next year


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The Member of Parliament for Mabvuku-Tafara, James Maridadi, says Zimbabwe’s parastatals are so badly run that even if you inject $10 billion into Air Zimbabwe today, it will be back asking for more money from the government next year.

He said none of the country’s 92 parastatals is making a profit.

“Today, if we take $10 billion and inject it into Air Zimbabwe, I can guarantee you that next year, they will go to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development seeking bail out money,” he told Parliament.

He said although Air Zimbabwe’s planes were old, its problem was really bad management. It did not have the right people.

“We can give Air Zimbabwe all the modern aeroplanes today and next year, those aeroplanes will not have been serviced or insured and they will be grounded.  Mr. Speaker, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of South African Airways, if she/he loses the Harare –Johannesburg route, she or he loses his/her job,” he said. 

“It is the second most lucrative route for South African Airways.  That is why they put six aeroplanes on that route every day.  They have a 0730 hours, 13:30 hourd and a 16:30 hourd flight on a daily basis because they are making a profit.  Air Zimbabwe, who are the owners of the route from Harare to Johannesburg do not have a single flight on that route.  What is going on?”

“In 2010, US$300 million was injected into Air Zimbabwe with 28 directors and 800 employees manning three aeroplanes.  That money went down the drain and it is now housed with this outfit called Zimbabwe Asset Management Company.  The reason why that debt was taken out of Air Zimbabwe is because Hon. Chinamasa was trying to clean the Air Zimbabwe Balance Sheet so that it could attract investors because you cannot attract investors if your balance sheet is in such shambles.”

Maridadi said his solution was that Air Zimbabwe should employ the right people.

“Now, here is my solution to Air Zimbabwe.  Mr. Speaker Sir, employ the right people. It does not really matter if the person is good looking, dresses well and it does not matter who they are related to.  They must have the qualifications of running an air line. 

“I do not know where this notion came from that if somebody is a trained pilot, they can run an airline, it does not follow.  You can be the best pilot in the world and fail to run an airline. 

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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