Outrage over Chikore post

HARARE - The controversial appointment of President Robert Mugabe’s son-in-law Simba Chikore to a top position at Air Zimbabwe (Airzim) has sparked nationwide outrage, with many people branding the move as “problematic” and calling for an investigation by relevant bodies.

Chikore — who has been appointed as a chief operating officer at the struggling national carrier and is married to Mugabe’s only daughter Bona, the apple of her father’s eye — joins former Airzim captain and relation of the late vice president, Simon Muzenda, Ripton, who was recently appointed as the airline’s chief executive officer.

Ordinary Zimbabweans, pro-democracy groups and opposition parties who spoke to the Daily News yesterday roundly criticised Chikore’s appointment as number two at the troubled airline, with many casting doubt over his qualifications and experience in the challenging aviation industry.

“The appointment of Simba Chikore as the chief operating officer at Air Zimbabwe is a very sad and tragic development for the country. It confirms that the Mugabe dynasty has virtually privatised the State.

“Zimbabwe is now equivalent to a private limited company whose majority shareholders are the Mugabe dynasty and their cronies. The case smacks of naked and crude nepotism as well as patronage,” MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said.

“We challenge the Air Zimbabwe board as well as the minister of Transport to furnish us with full details of Simba Chikore’s professional qualifications as well as his work experience.

“As a party, we doubt that Simba Chikore was subjected to a transparent interviewing process before he landed his new job. More importantly, we have serious doubts concerning Simba Chikore’s suitability for this high-profile assignment at the State-owned airline,” he added.

Human rights lawyer Dewa Mavhinga also said Chikore’s appointment was highly questionable and should be referred to the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission for thorough investigation.

“As far as the public is concerned, Chikore may have landed this job simply because he is ... Mugabe’s son-in-law. Indeed, what are Simba Chikore’s qualifications and experience that would make him the best candidate for such a high-profile job? Can his CV be published?

“This appointment dashes any hopes of revival for the beleaguered airline. International investors are also unlikely to want to do business with Air Zimbabwe because it will be seen as lacking in professionalism,” he said.

“The little that is known about Chikore, including work experience, has already been cast in serious doubt. But this appears to be the patronage modus operandi of the ruling party, where they elevate people on the basis of political connections or sexual proximity to the Mugabe family,” Mavhinga added.

Former Education minister David Coltart blamed Mugabe for the appointment of his son-in-law and also questioned his understanding of business principles.

“The problem is that Mugabe himself has never run a tuck-shop and doesn’t understand basic economic laws, despite all the degrees he has. When someone close to the president or anyone in Cabinet is appointed to a senior position in a parastatal, it should be justified publicly,” Coltart wrote on micro blogging site Twitter.

In a sarcastic tweet, former Finance minister Tendai Biti said: “The boy who looks and dresses like a poor man’s version of Koffi Olomide is now a COO. Only in a banana republic”.

Moving to forestall Zimbabweans’ reaction to the appointment on Tuesday, Transport minister Joram Gumbo, argued that Chikore had been the best candidate for the position.

“Yes, . . . Simba Chikore is the new chief operating officer of Air Zimbabwe. We advertised the job and the response was good. I have been given the results of the hiring process by the board chairman and there were seven candidates and he came tops all round.

“It was done by experts and his experience as a pilot for Air Zimbabwe and in Qatar, as well as his training in the US prevailed. He was just too good because the guy who came second was way below him in terms of points.

“I’m aware that some people will raise eyebrows, but from the results I think he deserves the job and as minister, I accept the appointment,” Gumbo told the Daily News.

“It does not mean that the president’s relatives, his children or anyone associated with him cannot be employed in Zimbabwe. I’m a relative of the president but does that mean I’m not supposed to be minister?

“I hope people will not spread lies of favouritism because he truly deserves the job. He was interviewed by both outsiders and the Air Zimbabwe team,” he added.

But this did not stop Zimbabweans, including disaffected Zanu PF bigwigs who alerted the Daily News to the appointment at the weekend, from savaging the appointment and raising questions about the hiring of people to influential public sector positions in the country.

“I know that some people will say I’m saying this because I’m not in good books with the system, but this is not what we went to (the liberation) war for, where your surname, totem, who you know, are related to and sleep with determines your station in life.

“It may well be true that mukwasha (son-in-law), muzukuru (nephew), hanzvadzi (sister) or sekuru (uncle) would be qualified to be appointed to Cabinet or to other high positions, but it is nevertheless inappropriate.

“Seeing that so many well-connected people always appear to be rewarded and accommodated by the system, it makes it difficult for one not to be concerned about corruption and nepotism, which are huge cancers in our country,” a ruling party stalwart said.

Airzim insiders said Chikore and Muzenda had their work cut out at the struggling airline, which is said to be losing up to $3 million a month, and is saddled with a $300 million debt.

The national flag carrier has also over the last three decades struggled to shake off claims of executive corruption and ineptitude, which has led to the dismissals of several senior managers.

After the airline overlooked its former acting chief executive, Edmund Makona, when it appointed Muzenda to the position last month, he quit in a huff, with the parties later reported to have engaged in exit package negotiations. No details about this have been released to date.

Comments (30)


viola gwena - 6 October 2016

Its high time the Robbers and Muggers should stop bile spewing in the Zim economy. Imagine a pilot who only knows how to fly being appointed to such a strategic post at an airline. Perhaps, he will only be fixing that plane...737 by the name "Jongwe". He is a simple pilot and not to be likened to vana Madombwe who were both pilots and administrators with Masters Degrees of Business Administration. For him, he is a simple pilot and he has never studied Administration for that matter. Ask vana Chris Madamobwe...who were both qualified Aviation Administrators and Pilot at the same time. But for Simba, its a big NO,, Zimbabweans cant be fooled anymore. Its high time Zimbos say no to the old man's dynastic mechanism in all parastatals. Nepotism at its best. Rather, he should be the latest on the list of sanctions of the Robbers and Muggers. Shit is shit guys

Clemence Tashaya - 6 October 2016

They have positioned their relatives in every available position in every sector to simply loot and extract

Anthony Galtieri - 6 October 2016

Mukuwasha appointed by father-in-law, comfirmed by malume Gumbo. Gumbo just affirming his nephew's grip (Mugabe) grip on power and their family's stranglehold of the Zimbabwean economy. Uum the other muzukuru heads ZINARA, the other..... This is the first family - they have to be the first in everything in Zimbabwe!

Daniel5 - 6 October 2016

If you judge the way our ailing President acts and behaves one would think that he owns Zimbabwe and if free to do what he wants: bend the constitution and laws as he wants, cause massive friction and fights within the party, spend extravagant amounts of public money on himself...and obey no one? Just like a little God and a law unto himself. So it really comes as no surprise at all that his son in law was appointed head of Air Zim. Remember how he awarded his wife Grace a Doctorate? What Bob fails to take into consideration is the fact that by acting and behaving in this manner he is making his family members targets of ridicule and contempt even though they might be innocent.

Mbewa - 6 October 2016

Please all Zimbabweans there may you tell me if Zimbabwe is still a country or is now Mugabe's personal project. This is too much how can he continue placing all his relatives on strategic positions. Even to ZANU PF supporters zvinonyandzisa this kind of Nepotism is too much then what about us his Ministers and MPs even our cats and dogs are going to have positions in the councils and ministries. Then you think the economy will ever recover.

rwendorwegweru - 6 October 2016

Aaaah aya ndiwo ma1 chaiwo. Ini zii zvangu sebenzi

Mimi - 6 October 2016

Minister Joram Gumbo should just learn to keep quiet on issues of corruption especial those in which the First Family facilitate. Simba we were told by President Mugabe that his son-in-law was an employee in the OPC. He revealed this the day Simba wedded Bona, when he said that Grace had been telling the truth concerning Simba's profession. Newspapers had reported that Qartas Airline had disputed the claim that he was one of its pilots. In fact it is now known that this family is very corrupt, corrupt to the core. The lady forced Nyagura to give her a doctorate just like that. So Gumbo is trying to do some damage control here. He should just keep quiet Zimbabweans are not fools. Soon and very soon the sun shall set.

Jonathiel Moyowaonda - 6 October 2016

This is not news. Robert Gabriel Baboon Mugabe has been running and is still running Zimbabwe like a tuck-shop. He has been appointing his relatives left, right and centre with impunity and this Chikore guy is no surprise. It is also not surprising that Robert Gabriel Baboon Mugabe is doing this, as he has been allowed even to urinate in someone's mouth with impunity. He has no slightest respect of any other Zimbabwean, perhaps except for his close family members, who to him are the only patriotic Zimbabweans. We allowed him to go this route and we should be prepared to pay for our negligence and stupidity.

Zvichapera - 6 October 2016

its a rope. you give a man a rope to hang himself. we await results zve. you cannot cheat fruits!

kelly - 6 October 2016

Oh so the population is just waking up to the fact that Zimbabwe is RGM's private feudal empire. He will NEVER relinquish his hold on it. It belongs to him and we are all his feudal peasants and will do as we are told.

kot - 6 October 2016

bobo rinodya dzese patsoro

ndorinonZi bobo - 6 October 2016


OBSERVER - 6 October 2016

haaa yaaaa. iyi Zimbabwe yakaoma. zvotode nyasha. Mwari huyai vanhu vaya vari kuenderera mberi! Havana kana nyadzi mune zvese izvi!

maitazvaita - 6 October 2016

Mr. Simba Mugabe, the guy Bona Mugabe "married"

Tozvireva - 6 October 2016

Would you ask why we, Zimbabweans, are a mess? That National Airline is a mess big time. Mugabe has gone on to turn the National Air line to Simbabwe Airline. Kkkkkkkkkkk. We hear that no Middle Airline knows this clown who goes by the name Simba Chikore.

Mbareboy - 6 October 2016

so said when u control everything and people to rally behind u. Mugabe and his family are now owners of this country

sibanda sibanda - 6 October 2016

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ADF - 7 October 2016

Its very gratifying to observe that the people of Zimbabwe have now learnt their lessons and now all racist pretensions have virtually vanished. I remember in the early 80s when things generally began to to deteriorate some of us would comment that the standards were now nosediving and all your friends would look at you and questions would begin raining on you..."Whose standards are you talking about?.... Do you mean the white man's standards? .....Who cares about the white man's standards?....We are going to establish our own standards dont talk about the white man's standards. ..etc. And just recently I asked some of my friends who used to accuse me of being an 'Uncle Tom' whether what we see now were the African standards they were dreaming about? They all now really realise that good standards are good standards they dont belong to anybody. So I say especially the young , 'Keep pushing for the best for our country'. Good standards dont belong to the white man alone. We also want what is good you know. Dont allow this kind of nonsense. Mugabe has always been like that. He just didnt show it but he has always been like that.

Magoronganye - 7 October 2016

The man's dressing, makes him totally unfit for this job.

macab bareti - 7 October 2016

The appointment was a strategy to avail at short notice a plane as soon as the need for the old gagool to abdicate arose.

Kachembere kekwaChivi - 7 October 2016

Good standards are good standards.

Young Zimbo - 7 October 2016

Ambuya vakati mukwasha ramangwana redu munyika ino harinyatotaridzika zwakanaka. Tezwara wako paanongoti godi kwamupfiganebwe iwe unofanira kunge uripanzwimbo. Kana zvichireva kuti dzinenge dzasimuka dzidzoke kuzotitakura tonange mabvezuva ndizwozwo. Asika zwimwe isu maZimbos tinofanira kupafunga. Maida kuti atsvage basa kupi ? Dai yanga ichiwanikwa firm inogadzira zvireyi nemigwada (joko sayimani) ndipo paakwana kuti kwesere nokuti tezwara vake Bob anechinangwa chekutiendesa ikoko semakuriro aakaita.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 7 October 2016

@Mbewa you are so right. Mugabe owns everything in Zimbabwe, the whole country is his personal possession....at least this is how he thinks and behaves. Unfortunately, and as much as all of us dislike what he is doing everyone has to realize that without SADC and AU intervention and him being removed from office, he is going to continue and probably get worse. And when he is eventually gone in his wake he will have left a trail of ruin and destruction and the worst ever human suffering. God help Zimbabwe.

Rhodie - 7 October 2016

When Mugabe is gone, it might get so tough for the family. This is no way to prepare a future for your family old man

Regai - 7 October 2016

It was imperative that we sanitise the young's cv. Many people including his alleged former employers doubted his credentials. After all what we did was very African. The Ungandan President appointing his son to head the military, The Equitorial Guinea President appointing his son as deputy. We have a right to look after our own.

Viva Unidade - 7 October 2016

Mugabe acts as if Zimbabwe is his very own property and all of us are his mortal servants. I have tried to like Mugabe and forgive him for what he did to us but have realized that Mugabe is for himself only. My great great grandfather fought against the white invaders. My own father was with ZIPRA and fought against colonialism and the oppression we were all subjected to. I did not like what the white invaders did to us but have to admit that the oppression, poverty and gross mismanagement we are all now being subjected to is worse and by far. We fought alongside our ANC brothers yet somehow they have forgotten and abandoned us....why? Why are you not seeing what is going on here? All of us now need your help please.

Khumalo - 7 October 2016

What is good corpoarate governance cde minister????????

itai musekiwa - 7 October 2016

this has gone too far,, i believe these are the works of grace

ngeke - 9 October 2016

Wat would gumbo say wen he also does not even know wat qualifications are needed for the job. hanti he is also appointed on nepotism basis. zvichapera hazvo. seri kwemukwidza kune mawere

Truth - 10 October 2016

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