By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
19 February 2014
Two senior Air Zimbabwe bosses, and the former CEO of the airline, were on Tuesday denied bail, after the court ruled they are a flight risk.
The trio is facing allegations of defrauding the national flag-carrier of millions of dollars in an insurance scam. Peter Chikumba 59, Grace Nyaradzai Pfumbidzai 49 and Innocent Mavhunga 53, appeared before the Harare magistrates’ court where they applied for bail pending trial, which was denied by a magistrate.
Chikumba and Pfumbidzai are facing criminal abuse of duty as public officers and fraud charges, while Mavhunga faces charges of fraud only.
A forensic investigation carried out by a leading firm of auditors in Harare last year exposed possible manipulation of aviation insurance policies by past and present bosses, which could have prejudiced the state-run airline of millions of dollars between 2009 and 2013.
The national carrier has for a long time suffered from chronic mismanagement and corruption and its massive economic down turn has seen its aircraft seized in both South Africa and the UK and a number of strikes from its work force.
A sad decline for what was once one of the finest airlines in the world.