Govt fails to fly out Mann’s plane

Source: Govt fails to fly out Mann’s plane – The Zimbabwe Independent August 12, 2016

ATTEMPTS by government to register a plane belonging to convicted mercenary Simon Mann arrested in Harare in 2004 with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have failed after aviation authorities could not prove they had legally acquired the plane.

By Hazel Ndebele

Mann’s plane was impounded in March 2004 after landing at the Harare International Airport with 70 mercenaries enroute to Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, where they wanted to stage a military coup against President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. The mercenaries intended to pick up weapons in Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwean government, however, arrested Mann and his 69 colleagues before impounding the Boeing 727 aeroplane valued between US$3 million and US$5 million. The plane has been parked at the airport since 2004.

Sources close to the developments said government has failed to produce the requirements needed by IATA in the registration of the plane since 2005.

Amongst others requirements, IATA requires proof of ownership for registration of an aeroplane.

“Because the forfeiture of the plane was unlawful AITA has refused to register it, moreover government or the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) could not justify ownership of the plane,” said the source.

Government, the source says, intends to fly the plane to Equatorial Guinea but is being hindered by the failure to get a licence.

The Zimbabwe Independent understands that Mann initially wanted to sell the plane to Zimbabwe, but the government failed to raise the required funds.

Prior to his arrest, Mann had lawfully bought firearms from the Zimbabwe Defence Industries (Pvt) Ltd (ZDI), hence the landing in Zimbabwe. He has not yet been refunded for the firearms which he did not receive. Furthermore, government is still in possession of the US$180 000 found inside the plane. ZDI reportedly sold the mercenaries a consignment of AK-47 assault rifles, mortars and 30 000 rounds of ammunition for US$188 000.

The mercenaries were charged and found guilty of violating the country’s immigration, firearms and security laws.

In his 2011 book, Cry Havoc, Mann confirms that the intention of their journey was “to remove one of the most brutal dictators in Africa in a privately organised coup d’etat.”

As reported by this paper then the Zimbabwean state security services laid a trap for the arrest of the mercenaries. It was said that then ZDI general manager retired Colonel Tshinga Dube was aware of the trap.

Sources say Mann wants to appeal as he feels the order for forfeiture was not justifiable.


  • comment-avatar
    ntaba 6 years ago

    But who ever said that Zanu has lost its licence or its capacity to steal? Anything is fair game for Zanu theft- diamonds, jets, farms, mines, businesses, FCDs, savings by printing money etc, pensions, houses, land, human rights, citizenship, the right to a fair trial, the right to vote, recourse to claim stolen property, the right to the SADC Tribunal, – and now they will use credit cards to clear “pretend US$” in their pretend US$ banking system! But who will be the ones to hand over their hard currency – read real US$ in note form? – in exchange for “Theoretical US$ in the ban!k!” Will it be the businesses, or the people or the banks themselves? It is all about playing a card game of donkey! Who is going to be left with the Zanu Donkey card? – in the form of a Bond Note!

    • comment-avatar
      Donkey 6 years ago

      This Zanu government has no shame. Steal the money, plane put the guy in Jail. This is want is called Justice in Zimbabwe. Zanu are true children of the Devil himself all that is missing is horns.

  • comment-avatar
    Barry 6 years ago

    Failed to raise the funds to buy it? Failed to licence it? Seems all this lot is good at is failure. But then we already knew that.