GOVERNMENT has invited bids for the troubled national airline, Air Zimbabwe, as it pushes ahead with privatisation of its loss-making parastatals.
BY BUSINESS REPORTER
The airline owes creditors $341 million and was last month put under administration.
“Tenders are, hereby, invited from interested parties to invest in Air Zimbabwe. Parties interested in investing in the group are required to register their interest with Air Zimbabwe Administrator at Grant Thornton Chartered Accountants,” the administrator, Reggie Saruchera of Grant Thornton, said in a notice published in the Press yesterday.
“This invitation is not a prospectus and does not constitute or form part of any solicitation or invitation or any offer to the public to purchase the company or to subscribe to any ordinary shares or any other shares in Air Zimbabwe.”
Grant Thornton had been chosen to manage the airline on a caretaker basis when former Transport minister Joram Gumbo fired Air Zimbabwe’s board and management in August.
Air Zimbabwe is among several parastatals that will be sold off completely or partially privatised as President Emmerson Mnangagwa seeks to reduce dependence on the fiscus.
Its accounts have been in shambles for a while.
Auditor-General Mildred Chiri’s 2017 report on the airline was for 2010 accounts because she was not able “to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to provide a basis for an audit opinion” for subsequent years.
However, according to an exit report from the former board chairperson Chipo Dyanda, government, which wholly owns the airline, was to blame for its troubles as it had failed to recapitalise it or deal with the legacy debt that crippled its operations.
Dyanda said morale has long been low among staffers as a result of government non-support despite a Strategic Turnaround Plan running from 2018 to 2020.