Harare moves to restructure ailing parastatals
Publish date: 16 April 2018
Issue Number: 769
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Zimbabwe has plans to privatise and merge its ailing parastatals, according to Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa. These include state-owned telecoms, infrastructure, banking, passenger utility and manufacturing entities. A report on the Fin24 site notes that state-owned companies have performed poorly in recent years, and most of them are struggling to service their debt. Some will be disbanded and others recapitalised, as in the case with the National Railways of Zimbabwe, which has a recapitalisation deal with South Africa's Transnet. Chinamasa said on Friday the government expects 'critical contribution from state parastatals' to help the revival of Zimbabwe's economy. 'Detailed implementation modalities of each of the Cabinet decisions will be provided in the form of a memorandum by each respective line Ministry, including indications, where necessary for the engagement of technical, financial or legal advisers in order to facilitate the reform or restricting process agreed by cabinet,' Chinamasa said.
The price of aircraft bought from Malaysia for a new Zimbabwe airline may have been inflated by up to $140m, prompting a probe by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government. Chinamasa and Transport Minister Joram Gumbo last week said the government had paid $41m for two Boeing 777s and a smaller Embraer aircraft from Malaysia, to be leased to Zimbabwe Airways. However, the Daily News, citing ‘highly-placed sources’ said $140m could not be accounted for ‘and that is why Mnangagwa had to order Gumbo to bring home the planes which were brought secretly using public funds’. Wrote opposition politician Obert Gutu (in a tweet): ‘This whole Zimbabwe Airways saga stinks!’
Former President Robert Mugabe's daughter Bona was at Harare’s international airport on Wednesday to see the arrival of a newly-acquired passenger plane bearing her father’s initials. The Boeing 777, with the registration code Z-RGM, made a low fly past over Harare’s main Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport before it touched down on a flight from Malaysia. A report on the News24 site notes that she was photographed with her husband, Simba Chikore, who was aboard the plane and dressed in a pilot’s uniform. It was unclear if Chikore, a trained airline pilot, had been at the controls. Chikore was chief operating officer at Air Zimbabwe at the time a deal was reportedly sealed last year with Malaysia Airlines to purchase used planes.