Mugabe Wants Air Zim Pilots Strike Ended

The sources who are based at the Air Zimbabwe head office told Radio VOP on Wednesday that Mugabe summarily issued the order as he was leaving for the United Nations General Assembly meeting currently underway in New York.

“Mugabe told the management and board that he wants to see the planes back into the skies when he returns from New York and meetings have been taking place all day,” said the sources.

“The arrogance of people like the board chairman has disappeared.”

The sources said representatives of the pilots, the board and Minister of Transport and Communication Nicholas Goche met on Tuesday at the Rainbow Towers to try and agree on a workable deal before Mugabe returns.

Mugabe who charters Air Zimbabwe planes whenever he travels abroad nearly failed to travel to the annual United Nations sojourn due to the ongoing strike by pilots until the airline managed to sweet talk a crew to take him to New York.

Some of the pilots are spending time playing golf while waiting for the standoff to be resolved.

The pilots are said to have been angered by summary ultimatum issued by the Air Zimbabwe board chairman, Jonathan Kadzura ordering pilots back at work while threatening them with dismissal. The pilots however defied the ultimatum.

Contacted for a comment yesterday the Air Zimbabwe Chief Executive officer Peter Chikumba said negotiations are continuing.

“We are still negotiating and I am in a meeting right now,” said Chikumba.

Pilots at the national carrier embarked on an industrial action some two weeks ago demanding payment of allowances that were scrapped in February.

Meanwhile the airline is said to be spending US$ 2300 leasing an aircraft from a South African aviation company. The aircraft is servicing the lucrative Johannesburg- Harare route and some selected local routes while all its international flights are suspended