Mugabe's jet threat
ZIMBABWE may lose half the aircraft in its national airline - which would further hamper President Robert Mugabe and wife Grace's already limited travel plans.
The government has failed to pay debts of $28-million (about R300-million) to a US bank and it has now received, according to the Times of London, a final demand to settle the bill for two Boeing 767 aircraft, failing which the jets will be seized.
This would leave Air Zimbabwe with just three Boeing 737s it uses on regional routes. "Smart" sanctions by the European Union have already cut off Mugabe, his wife and high-ranking Zanu-PF officials from many of their favourite destinations.
Air Zimbabwe executives would not say how they intend to pay the cash, outstanding since December 2000. The Times did, however, suggest Mugabe may approach Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi for assistance.
- Sunday Times Foreign Desk