Air Zimbabwe plane seized over debt

2011-12-13 18:40

Harare - Zimbabwe's debt-ridden national carrier has had its Boeing 737-500 seized by an American company in London for failure to repay a $1m debt, state media said on Tuesday.

"The debt has been outstanding for some time now and it has been impounded after we failed to meet the deadline of November 30 to settle it," Innocent Mavhunga, Airzim acting chief executive, told The Herald newspaper.

The plane was seized at Gatwick airport by American General Supplies (AGS) on Monday evening before departure for Zimbabwe.

The airline, already crippled by workers strikes and fuel shortages, needs about $40m to clear some of its debts, according to Mavhunga.

In June, the airline cancelled flights to London and SA after gas firms stopped supplies over outstanding payments.

This month a South African aviation company seized one of Airzim's planes over unpaid money for ground handling services.

The carrier is one of several state-owned firms that have posted losses and have been shortlisted for a sell-off.

Airzim's ageing operational fleet now consists of two B767-200s, three B737-200s and three MA60s.

  • Bob - 2011-12-13 18:54

    Just when I thought uncle Bob could not embarrass himself further...this crops up!

      Deborah - 2011-12-13 22:08


  • Burtfred - 2011-12-13 18:59

    I wouldn't fly Air Zim, or SAA, if they were the last airlines in the world.

      Johncarlos ? Biza - 2011-12-13 19:03

      Why not SAA? I've hardly had a bad experience with them

      lammy.haoseb - 2011-12-14 16:25


  • Julio - 2011-12-13 19:17

    there's a good model for Juju.

  • willbeonekenobi - 2011-12-13 19:18

    They should stick to flying inside zim then hopefully they would either not be impounded or become rust buckets (if they are not sold to rich people outside zim). I'm pretty sure those planes would be well past their operational life span.

  • braamc - 2011-12-13 19:18

    Syphilis Bob just embarrassed himself again, probably the fault of the UK. Can the cancer progress already!

      willbeonekenobi - 2011-12-13 20:21

      yeah it should spread through his whole body in the next hour or so and he should die an agonisingly painful death then they can start restructuring and rebuilding the country.

  • colin.dovey - 2011-12-13 19:22

    What CAN these jokers run, except run their country into the ground?

      Wilbert - 2011-12-13 21:01

      For the last three years MDC has been part of the Zimbabwe government. Other than tell lies about how Mugabe has changed and enjoy the perks given to them as Prime Minister and Ministers, Tsvangirai and his MDC friends have made no difference. Many Zimbabweans still consider MDC the nation's saviour just as they once regarded Mugabe national hero per excellence. It will take a few more years before it finally dawns on them than Tsvangirai is useless! Am I a black Zimbabwean, still I have to admit it; we are a thick nation!

  • sefeddt - 2011-12-13 19:38

    "The carrier is one of several state-owned firms that have posted losses and have been shortlisted for a sell-off." Good move, sell it off and let whoever buys it settle the debt, then either demand a 51% stake or reclaim it under Zimbabwe nationalization program blaming the Western companies for stealing it from you.

  • J.D. - 2011-12-13 19:38

    oooooaaaaaa i am enjoying this.

  • Susanna - 2011-12-13 20:01

    Where is Zim's money going? I know the Zimbabwean students at Fort Hare University (Eastern Cape) cannot go home for Christmas as they are waiting for president Mugabe to send them transport money.

      Wilbert - 2011-12-13 21:06

      I pity the students!

  • Chaapo - 2011-12-13 20:21

    You fly Air Zim on a wing and a prayer. What else would you expect from a company with a management that is fully ZANU PF and and an airline that whose planes are regularly commandeered by RG and his entourage for unending non-commercial visits to Malaysia and Hong Kong? Years of mismanagement, political interference and corruption have seen us where we are now. We have always known the chickens will come home to roost and indeed they have in a funny but sad way. Lest you think you will be different, continue along the Malema path and you will get here too. The way forward is to let it sink then these imbeciles will fly other carriers or better yet seek treatment from the local hospitals that they have left to decay.

  • Ronald - 2011-12-13 20:22

    Could this be the reason why SA needs 2 new aircraft, so that Bob can borrow one?

  • Wilbert - 2011-12-13 20:30

    I wonder how much Mugabe owes Air Zimbabwe! He loves to fly Air Zim and no doubt loves even more not having to pay the bill! He gobbles up US$ 3 million on each of his regular overseas trips and expects the taxpayer to pay! This is must be hell-on-earth!

  • Mark - 2011-12-13 20:46

    Uncle Bob, you vile old man, you are going down, not up

  • Chaapo - 2011-12-13 21:15

    To Wilbert The Air Zim rot started long before MDC if you want to correctly apportion blame. You may be thick but not all of us are and will equally criticize MDC if we feel they are complicit or responsible for the Zimbabwe ruin (no pun intended). No one is a saviour but mere mortals but they have done a heck more than ZANU PF led ministries; case in point being Biti and Coultart. Air Zim has been bleeding pre-MDC and it does not help that the Prez still continues to treat it like his personal carrier unscheduled delays or cancellations being the result which in turn has led to people looking for alternative means to get to Zim because you cannot rely on Air Zim. This is jut a little bit of the problem.

  • Capt - 2011-12-13 23:06


      Joe - 2011-12-13 23:51

      No Capt, they are not leased, we paid off the Bank of Utah during the days of Gideon the Gono (He printed enough to mop up the black market forex). But u r right, that 737 would never make it past Central Africa

  • Norah - 2011-12-14 08:30

    @Chaapo, your wit is amazing. You even find humour in a sad situation. Great stuff! Am just sorry for you and your compatriots. Things can only get better!

  • marc.drazdik - 2011-12-14 13:21

    so they seized a 737-500 of which the company has NONE according to the last line....riiiiiiiiight...

      Garth - 2011-12-14 16:18

      Suggest that you read the last line again. You are over looking a `now'.

  • Garth - 2011-12-14 16:22

    Well done Mad Bob Mugabe. `Applause!' Why don't you take the $40million out of Grace's shopping allowance? Would have loved for that to have been your official plane. Would have loved it! Hey South Africa, guess what we have to look forward to if we do not get rid of these anc ineptocrats.

  • lammy.haoseb - 2011-12-14 16:25

    What else can one expect.......

  • Capt - 2011-12-14 23:34


  • pages:
  • 1