|Air Zimbabwe facing liquidation|
|Saturday, 21 January 2012 22:45|
This follows a court application by the parastatal’s employees represented by Mr Caleb Mucheche of Matsikidze and Mucheche Legal Practitioners.
Air Zimbabwe Holdings, Air Zimbabwe and the Master of the High Court were cited as first, second and third respondents respectively while National Airways Workers’ Union and Air Transport Union were the applicants. In granting the order last Friday, the court considered that Air Zimbabwe had acknowledged it was facing viability challenges. Last week, AirZim chief executive officer Mr Innocent Mavhunga wrote to President Mugabe informing him of the viability constraints.
The court appointed Mr Shepherd Chimutanda of STC International Certified Chartered Accountants provisional judicial manager.
The Master of the High Court granted a certificate for the provisional judicial management order with costs.
In an interview yesterday, Mr Mucheche said the order was long overdue adding that it was a prelude to AirZim's liquidation.
"The judicial manager will assess if AirZim is still a going entity, but as the way things stand all is not well he is likely to recommend liquidation. That is the process. Whenever a judicial manager comes in, the next step is liquidation."
In his arguments, Mr Mucheche said mismanagement resulted in the parastatal failing to pay debts and become a successful business concern.
Authority, medical aid society and pension scheme, among other obligations. One of the parastatal's Boeing 767s was last month impounded at Gatwick Airport in London by American General Supplies over a US$1,2 million debt for services rendered.
However, the Boeing 767-200 was released after the Government moved in to pay the debt. A Boeing 737-500 was also seized by a South African company and was only released after Zimbabwe paid US$500 000. Last week, Mr Mavhunga wrote to President Mugabe about the mounting problems. In a letter to the President, which was used as part of mitigatory factors in court, he said efforts to raise funds were not yielding results.
"We wish to advise that the non-payment of salaries and other statutory obligations for the period in question has not been deliberate, but rather a manifestation of underlying viability challenges that our company has been experiencing where we have even suspended international and regional flights with domestic flights having become erratic," reads part of the letter signed by Mr Mavhunga and dated January 16, 2012.