Buy Mnangagwa private jet: Biti

HARARE - Zimbabwe must consider buying President Emmerson Mnangagwa a jet since the cost of his foreign trips on chartered planes was too high as compared to his predecessor Robert Mugabe, former Finance minister Tendai Biti said.

“Why do we have to hire a jet for $2 million to $3 million from Switzerland whenever anyone travels?” Biti questioned at an Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ) conference to mark the institute’s 100th anniversary in Harare yesterday.

“Mugabe was even better because he abused Air Zimbabwe. It is actually cheaper to buy a jet for Mnangagwa to travel. We have hired a jet to fly to Djibouti, America and other countries. I heard Grace Mugabe saying she had never seen a jet like that (the gulf stream hired for the former first lady to travel for her mother’s funeral). If you hear people like Grace... saying that, it means this has become too much,” Biti said.

Mnangagwa’s skint government has resorted to hiring a plane, especially from the Middle East and Europe, to facilitate the Zimbabwean leader’s regional and
international trips, including to the United Nations General Assembly in late September.


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Comments (3)

I trust Tendai B. has made an analysis of ownership versus charter such that he can conclude that ownership is cheaper. If charter is handled by Zimbabwe aviation expert negotiators it can be cheaper in the interim while the economy is recovering. Ownership involves the initial price plus variable and fixed expenses. The top end heavy jets from Dassault, Bombardier, Boeing, Airbus, or Gulfstream are in the $45 - $75 million range. Direct operating cost can top $5000 - $6000 per hour. Maybe there might be savings from using Air Force pilots and technicians. What happens to the airplane when the president is not using it. A non-flying airplane is an expensive piece of equipment. In these days of "sanctions" where does the operator, say Air Force, buy the parts and spares for regulatory required maintenance? Most of these heavy jets have some Western content in them so if sanctions are still in place where do the technicians/engineers get parts to fix the airplane? They cannot cannibalize #2 to fix #1 because there will be only one. Is there going to be countermeasures equipment to protect the president from the Rwanda/Burundi type missile attack? Lasting solution, get Air Zim back on line and ED can charter from the airline mindful passenger schedules and payment. Or create a SADC Presidential Flight Dept that presidents within the region can share costs while having maximum aircraft utilization. If ED were to buy an expensive aircraft right now that is like political suicide.

Tapuwa - 30 November 2018

He can hire from a zim jet company that will open an office in the capital soon , creating jobs.

Jet Mnangagwa. - 30 November 2018

@tapuwa, i am surprised at your failure to understand what TB is saying there. i will help you- TB is simply saying that the president's forieng trips are very very expensive for our country even when you try to compare to Mugabe's era. buying-a-private jet suggestion is scarsm and childing the whole thing. your analysis is very right and this is exactly what our leaders in the finance ministry should be doing but you know they wont even try to go into details. they simply dont care.

TaTanga - 1 December 2018

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