Inside Mnangagwa’s US$1 million flight of luxury for climate summit in Scotland 

LONDON – President Emmerson Mnangagwa flew to Scotland on Sunday on a private jet hired from former Soviet Republic, Azerbaijan, as poverty deepens at home.

Source: Inside Mnangagwa’s US$1 million flight of luxury for climate summit in Scotland – The Zimbabwean

The luxuriously-fitted Airbus A319-115 (CJ) costs an average US$415,000 to hire for a one-way trip from Harare to Glasgow, the Scottish capital, according to The estimate suggests the Zanu PF leader is spending close to USS$1 million on travel alone.

The Airbus Corporate Jetliner, registration 4K – 8888, is one of slightly over 190 exclusively-fitted jets in the range for private customers – typically “companies, individuals such as billionaires and governments,” according to David Velupillai, the Airbus marketing and communications director.

The corporate jets cost at least US$87 million.

Independence war veterans marched in Harare last week demanding better pensions, with each currently earning less than US$100 – the same as teachers. The war heroes were arrested and accused of public order offences.

The United Nations estimates that over six million Zimbabweans require food aid, and hospitals are collapsing due to lack of medicines and corruption.

Mnangagwa, who seized power in a 2017 military coup, faces accusations by rivals of profligacy and enabling corruption by associates, while brutally suppressing the opposition.

The 79-year-old’s plane – apparently not on a priority list – was prevented from landing for over 20 minutes on Sunday due to congestion at Glasgow’s main airport.

The Airbus flew 10 hours to Harare on October 29 from the Azerbaijan capital, Baku. After take-off from Harare on Sunday morning, the medium-range jet stopped in Egypt for refuelling before continuing on its more than 12-hour flight to Scotland.

It flew two hours to the Latvian capital, Riga, after dropping off Mnangagwa, who is expected to remain in the UK until at least November 3 with a delegation reported to be more than 100 people.

Mnangagwa could have flown with Air Zimbabwe to Scotland, but the national flag carrier – with one working long-range aircraft, a Boeing 767 – apparently fears having the plane impounded over debts. Air Zimbabwe discontinued flights to the UK nearly 10 years ago as creditors circled.

The government recently announced it was taking over Air Zimbabwe’s debt estimated to be over US$300 million – but it has no track record of debt repayment.

The Airbus that took Mnangagwa to Scotland is registered to Azerbaijan Airlines, which is owned by the state. Mnangagwa visited Azerbaijan in 2019 and met the country’s strongman, President Ilham Aliyev.

The government refuses to comment on Mnangagwa’s travel arrangements. Once, after he hired a plane from Dubai to fly him to Gweru – a 30-minute journey – the government claimed the United Arab Emirates was allowing him use of the aircraft free of charge.


  • comment-avatar
    harper 1 year ago

    As I checked into a Washington Hotel a few days after the 9/11 attack the receptionist asked about my accent. I mentioned that it was Zimbabwean. I was immediatly refused entry to the Hotel It turns out that a Zimbabwean Delegation had stayed there and trashed the place as well as stealing hotel property. The Zimbabwean Embassy still owed them a very large amouint of money. Fortunately I was a guest in the US of the State Department called to Washington to assist with the fall out from 9/11. State Department intervention allowed me to stay at the Hotel. But I also received bad news, my future employment in Gaborone was cancelled as the funds for training Civil Servants in Southern Africa had ben diverted to Afganistan’s near neighbours. I hope that Mnangagwa’s delegation are better behaved on this occasion.

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    Isaac Demecillo 1 year ago


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    Steve 1 year ago

    The new president of Zambia, flew to the UN meeting in Sept/Oct, on a commercial flight. He refuses to use the Learjet, that was bought by the previous govt, at an inflated ludicrous price. Priorities.

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    Ndonga 1 year ago

    What! Glasgow the capital of Scotland. Standard 4s when I went to school in the old Zimbabwe knew that Edinburgh was the capital of Scotland. And it has always been the capital of Scotland I believe.

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    Nyoni 1 year ago

    Stealing is in their blood. Looting like the Vikings did is the name of the game. These parasites care for no one. If they can trash a country , what makes any place safe.

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    Punungwe 1 year ago

    When Joshua Nk0mo delegation arrived back from the settlement talks in Switzerland a very large quantity of stolen Swiss Air property was removed from them at Bulawayo airport and returned to Swiss Air in Johannesburg. I wonder what will disappear from this luxury airliner