‘Air Simbabwe’s’ Simba now a butt of jokes

An airline’s human resources manager’s question to Simba Chikore: “Mr Chikore, what qualifications do you have to run Air Zimbabwe?” Chikore responded: “In my curriculum vitae, I have also attached my marriage certificate.”

Source: ‘Air Simbabwe’s’ Simba now a butt of jokes – The Standard October 9, 2016


Last week’s appointment of Chikore as chief operations officer for Air Zimbabwe has become the butt of jokes on social media as Zimbabweans find solace in the wake of a deteriorating economic environment and that dovetails with American actress Krista Allen’s remarks that life is too short not to enjoy a little practical joking.

Chikore is the first son-in-law by virtue of marrying President Robert Mugabe’s daughter, Bona.

The airline is now being referred to as Air Simbabwe. In one of the jokes, First Lady Grace Mugabe is presented calling the human resources head to find a position for Chikore, saying she had already conversed with Transport and Infrastructure Development minister Joram Gumbo on the move.

The human resources head “offers” the post of CEO to which the First Lady suggests that the chief operations officer post was ideal as her son-in-law would take over the reins next year.

In one of the jokes, Mugabe supposedly takes a dig at those questioning Chikore’s appointment. Mugabe is said to argue Chikore was managing his “fleet” in the same way other son-in-laws manage commuter omnibuses for their in-laws.

Mugabe is Air Zimbabwe’s top passenger due to his numerous trips.

Chikore’s resumé has never been made public, a misnomer as all senior appointments at state-owned enterprises are publicised. Last week Gumbo said Chikore’s credentials “actually surpass the required qualifications”.

Student leader Tonderai Dombo believes Chikore’s appointment came as an afterthought by Mugabe.

Dombo caused a stir last month after he raised a placard highlighting the high levels of unemployment at a graduation ceremony at the University of Zimbabwe.

In a video circulating on social media, Dombo is recorded saying by highlighting the plight of the unemployed, it dawned on Mugabe that his son-in-law did not have a job.

“I decided to raise a placard to bring the awareness of jobs at the graduation ceremony. To my surprise, the president saw it and then realised that even his son-in-law did not have a job and decided to give him a job,” he said, adding that Mugabe has failed to ensure there are jobs for those who are graduating.

“Now we are seated here and asking ourselves, did I have to raise a placard for the president to realise that the levels of unemployment have reached his doorstep and that his own son-in-law was not employed.”

Far from becoming a joke, the appointment also demonstrated the level of patronage in State-owned enterprises where the “jobs for the boys” syndrome is the daily bread.

Political scientist Eldred Masunungure told The Standard that Chikore’s appointment was consistent with the country’s type of politics in which nepotism and patronage hold sway.

“It’s all about nepotism and patronage; sharing the cake within the family and extended family [associates].
Clearly, this has been the pattern of national politics going back to the 1980s. It’s only that this patronage has deepened and widened,” he said.


  • comment-avatar
    tineyi 6 years ago

    Nepotism is rife in Zimbabwe, take a visit to ZETDC right now and see families and extended families enjoying the benefits of having the father as the director or someone up the higher ranks of the company.

  • comment-avatar
    Fallenz 6 years ago

    Does Chikore even know what a type rating is? If he has one, I’m curious as to who sold it to him. Let him produce his resume and show his qualifications according to the published requirements for the position. He’s evermore as much a fraud as his father-in-law.

  • comment-avatar
    susan 6 years ago

    this is zim testing waters case. watch the space when he is announced successor to the top post of president when then the time comes.

  • comment-avatar
    Ndonga 6 years ago

    Zimbabwe has gone mad.

    Where in the world would a National Airline appoint a Chief Operations Officer without making his full CV open for public inspection and knowledge. After all does Air Zimbabwe not want to persuade their paying customers that Bona’s husband has all the relevant qualifications for the job…not just for their information, but to make them believe that their flight will be in safe and experienced hands. Yes we know that he might, yes might, have given Bona a baby, but that does not count as a qualification for the important post of Chief Operations Officer of a National Airline! After all most men can complete such a task, but it does not then become a recognised qualification, well not in the real world.

    Yes we have all heard the claims that Bona’s husband Simba Chikore was a senior pilot with Emirates, or some other nameless airline of note. But we have also heard that all the relevant airlines have denied knowing a Simba Chikore. Not as a pilot, and not even as a coffee jockey.

    So come on tell us what is the secret. Was Simba ever a pilot? Where was he trained? Where was he employed as a pilot? How long was in that job? What was his safety record? What do his past employers say about his flying skills? etc. etc.

    Perhaps then we will make use of our once proud Zimbabwe Airways.

    Of course there might never be a seat available for us, as Simba’s Crazy Father In Law takes up all Zimbabwe Airway’s seats when he flies out on his almost daily trips with his huge entourage of relatives and hangers on. Either to greet some VIP that no one has heard of, or to even have as haircut or massage in Dubai, or some other far off equally exotic place.

    What a crazy place our Zimbabwe has become under the wise guidance of our Number One…or was that our Number Two…?