Harare Airport to be named after Mugabe

HARARE - The Zanu PF government has revealed plans to rename the Harare International Airport to Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in honour of the country’s long serving ruler and the party’s first secretary.

This comes as Mugabe’s cash-strapped government has in its 2017 budget allocated a measly $10 million for the refurbishment and upgrade of the country’s airports out of the required $50 million.

Transport and Infrastructure minister Joram Gumbo told Zanu PF delegates at the just-ended party’s conference in Masvingo that plans were afoot to rename the country’s biggest airport in honour of Mugabe.

“…We have Victoria Falls International Airport commissioned on November 18, we have Buffalo Range Airport built, we have Harare International Airport, your Excellency, that were are working on and we are at 55 percent to the work we are doing there,” said Gumbo.

“Still on that, following the resolution made during the congress and the last conference, Harare International Airport, we are going to rebuild it, to make it up to date with current airport trends.

“We are going to start that work, beginning of this next year. And to also change its name to Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, according to last year’s resolution,” he added.

Most of the country’s airports need an upgrade and recently Parliament was told of the sorry state of affairs at the country’s major airports.

In a damning assessment of the aviation industry, the portfolio committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development recently reported a frequent breakdown of radios, and in some cases, pilots resorting to use of cell phones to communicate with controllers.

The report revealed how basic equipment such as microphones, headsets and handsets are in a sorry state and in short supply with no backup communication systems in the event of a breakdown of the equipment.

The committee chaired by Chegutu West legislator Dexter Nduna expressed fears that low flying aircraft were plying routes with very limited radio contact with Air Traffic Controllers a situation that had the potential to cause collisions.

Political analyst Maxwell Saungweme said the issue of renaming the airport might be a plot to show Mugabe as more superior compared to the late Joshua Nkomo, whose name was used for the smaller Bulawayo airport.

“...The naming of Harare airport under Mugabe can either be a big deal or nonevent depending on where one comes from. To those in office who regard Mugabe as their hero for the so-called black economic empowerment and infrastructure development post-independence the naming of the airport is befitting,’ said Saungweme.

“Politically those in Zanu PF who mooted this idea want to perpetuate the political fallacy that Mugabe is a greater figure than Nkomo hence naming a bigger airport to that in Bulawayo in his name.

“But given Mugabe’s pathetic and chaotic economic and infrastructure development policies, naming such a strategic piece of infrastructure in his name is mockery. We know how Mugabe’s presidency has affected our aviation industry with Air Zimbabwe being literally run down and even other airlines no longer fuel their planes at that airport but prefer Lusaka and Johannesburg,” added Saungweme.

Comments (8)

Go on ,name everything after the cruel dictator RBZ,Victoria Falls,Kariba,Eastgate,Harare you name it,we don't give a damn.But the truth of the matter is that Gumbo and company are only trying give relevance to an old, tired and cruel dictator who has presided over the rundown of every facet of Zimbabwean economy.

Janana wa Bikaz - 19 December 2016

there is a half kilometre stretch of dusty, gully gaping stretch of road in Caledonia at 14 turn just after Man Dedza called Samora Machel. What have you to say Mr Max? Saungweme?

Observer - 19 December 2016

What about Land Reform and Unity between ZANU and ZAPU we would have butchered each other? The economy in my view is the responsibility incapable ministers who preferred to hide under "the President says" instead of running the ministry you have been appointed to run; all should accept their incapability!

ANGELBERT G NYANDORO - 19 December 2016

The Zanoids are fascinated with airports. Who among those who use Hre airport would not be inconvinienced by the mere name Mugabe airport ? All what they know about him is that chap who made his citizens suffer for 36 years unbroken and reduced a country that once was the jewel of Africa to rubble. Unless these Zanoids mean to be sarcastic: they have to call him Mr Hre Airport because he is always either taking off or landing there. I am sure this is their intention because as humans they are tired of his escapades like anybody else and therefore thought of throwing a big one at the shrivelling fly knowing very well ndozwakanofarira kukabira.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 19 December 2016

Is there any reason why Harare Airport should be renamed ? What is wrong with the name Harare ? What has Mugabe to do with Harare Airport apart from being a reguler traveller who loves to be met at the airport by dancing women ? The airport was not built for him alone. Infact he found it there because some people`s children with brains constructed it. Some people`s children with brains designed and manufactured aircrafts which land and take-off at the airport making international travel easier for even Zimbabweans. my question is: what contribution has this Robert Mugabe made to aviation to deserve his name encripted at Harare Airport ? On his part, if he has to be honest with himself, on what ground will he accept the re-naming of Harare Airport after him ? In his capacity as president of Zim he has done more harm than good to the aviation industry in Zim - for that reason Gumbo ( if he comes from Mberengwa as he claims) should guide the misguided and do the right thing. Mugabe does not in anyway deserve to have his name at Harare Airport. They have to find a rural road to a village where people are still doning migwada and travelling with zvireyi to name the road after him.

Bobby Sadza reZwiyo - 19 December 2016


al - 20 December 2016

After that old decrepid fart dies, they should go back to the original name: Salisbury. Sounds much nicer than a township name. "Harare" has too many bad memories.

Homo Erectus - 20 December 2016

Waste of time to honor brutal leaders

Enos Chikukwa - 21 December 2016

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