Andrew Kunambura 9 November 2017
HARARE – The broke government has so far spent $500 000 funding the
process of renaming Harare International Airport after President Robert
Mugabe, the Daily News has learnt.
The airport officially assumes its new identity – R G Mugabe International
Airport – today.
According to a written briefing, which Transport and Infrastructural
Development minister Jorum Gumbo submitted to Mugabe last week, it has
also emerged that Mugabe’s office took over the renaming process last
month and elevated it to national project status in order to qualify it
for government funding.
Until then, the process was being handled by Gumbo’s ministry. The
staggering half a million dollars funding was approved by Cabinet’s
committee of place names chaired by Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi.
In the briefing, Gumbo said: “Your Excellency, in recognition of your
contribution towards the liberation of the people of Zimbabwe, the
ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development is now implementing
the resolution from the Zanu PF Victoria Falls conference to rename Harare
International Airport in your honour.
“In order for the process to be supported by international stakeholders,
assurances and comprehensive input from local stakeholders was sought.
Cabinet approval for the name change was sought and granted,” a copy of
the briefing reads.
According to the briefing, Treasury paid $300 000 to the surveyor
general’s office, while the remainder – $200 000 – will be spent on
funding today’s unveiling ceremony.
“The (Cabinet) committee came up with a comprehensive budget, factoring in
input of local and foreign stakeholders.
“To date, $300 000 has been availed to the surveyor general by the
ministry of Finance and Economic Development for the change of
aeronautical maps,” Gumbo informed the 93-year-old Mugabe, adding that a
“further $200 000 has also been availed for preparations for the event”.
An aeronautical map is a chart designed to assist in navigation of
aircraft, much as nautical charts do for watercraft or a roadmap for
Using these charts and other tools, pilots are able to determine their
position, safe altitude, best route to a destination, navigation aids
along the way, alternative landing areas in case of an in-flight
emergency, and other useful information such as radio frequencies and
“The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe got clearance from the
International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and has already notified
stakeholders of the name change to be effected on November 9, 2017,” the
write up further reads.
In an interview with the Daily News yesterday, Gumbo said: “The process
involved signage changes at both the international and domestic terminals
as well as having consultative meetings with the local and international
stakeholders. The bulk of the money was paid to the surveyor general’s
office which needed to do some works in compliance with ICAO
Government is spending big on deification of long-ruling Mugabe, who has
been Zimbabwe’s only president since independence from the British in
In August, Cabinet approved a proposal by the Higher and Tertiary
Education ministry to establish a “high-tech” Robert Mugabe University
of Sciences at a cost of $1 billion.