By Alois Vinga
THE government has invited investors to bid for the struggling national airline, Air Zimbabwe which went into administration in October this year.
Air Zimbabwe owes local and international creditors more than $300 million with the obligation forcing the airline to abandon lucrative routes such as Harare-London after its aircraft was seized some years back.
The privatisation move was confirmed by administrator Grant Thornton in a media notice this Monday.
Prospective investors must submit their bids before November 23 with a non-refundable fee of $20,000.
It was not clear whether they can bid for the whole company or part ownership.
Bulisa Mbano, an official with Grant Thornton, was also not forthcoming on the details of the government’s plans.
“Most of the specifics will be as a result of the offers made,” he said.
Air Zimbabwe has seen its fleet deplete over the years to just three functional planes, with strikes by pilots and the flight of experienced staff worsening the airline’s problems.
The rot at the flag carrier has been blamed on general mismanagement as well as political meddling by government officials.
The troubled airline is among dozens of state-owned firms that are set to be partially or fully privatised in the next nine months as the government seeks to cut its fiscal deficit, which is expected to reach 11% of GDP in 2018.