Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Air Zimbabwe's A320 Deal Negotiated Without Board Consent

Air Zimbabwe is once again mired in controversy after it was revealed that the country's former transport minister, Nicholas Goche, brokered a deal for the airline's now grounded A320-200s from Chinese businessman, Sam Pa, after Mr Pa reportedly donated USD100million to the country's much-feared Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO). In its report, South African investigative newspaper, the Mail & Guardian (M&G), says Goche worked with the director general of the CIO, Happyton Bonyongwe, in structuring the deal with Pa without the knowledge of the airline's now dissolved board.

Mr Pa is no stranger to the African aviation scene. In 2010, Pa and his "88 Queensway Group", a body of companies that includes the China International Fund (CIF) and China Sonangol International Holding, were lined up for a 49% stake in Air Tanzania only for the deal to collapse under murky circumstances. For a brief period, Air Tanzania operated an A320-200 which has since been transferred to Air Zimbabwe as Z-WPM (cn 630).

The state-owned Zimbabwean national airline is now reportedly considering ditching the two aircraft, stored in Johannesburg O.R. Tambo, owing to a lack of personnel qualified to both maintain and operate them.
Source: ch-aviation

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