HARARE, June 30 (The Source) – Zimbabwe’s troubled national airline Air Zimbabwe has accumulated debt of up to $12 million in unpaid handling fees to state owned cargo handler, National Handling Services (NHS), an official has said.
NHS acting general manager Godknows Marawanyika told The Source that Air Zimbabwe owes handling fees dating back to 2009 when NHS was still a subsidiary of Air Zimbabwe. NHS was unbundled from the national airline in 2012 to improve operational efficiencies.
“Our records show that Air Zimbabwe owes us $12 million which goes back to 2009 where as an SBU (Strategic Business Unit) we had inter-company indebtedness,” he said.
Marawanyika said the debt was being treated like any other, adding that writing it off would require shareholder approval.
Last month transport minister Obert Mpofu told parliament that the national carrier needed at least $1 billion to recapitalize, with $298 million required to service both its domestic and foreign debts which emanated from navigation, landing, handling fees, fuel supplies, salary arrears and rentals.
Government has since approved plans for Air Zimbabwe to engage a strategic partner and also to takeover its debt.