President Robert Mugabe’s son-in-law Simba Chikore has resigned from Air Zimbabwe (AirZim), a year after he was controversially appointed chief operations officer.
By GIFT NJIRISI
Chikore, who was acting CEO when the airline’s boss Ripton Muzenda was shown the door recently, threw in the towel a few days before the army put his in-laws under house arrest.
Transport minister Jorum Gumbo confirmed Chikore’s resignation but refused to divulge the reasons.
“He resigned some time ago this year,” he said without elaborating.
“I do not know why he resigned, you have to ask him for you to know that.”
Chikore, who married Mugabe’s daughter in 2014, took over as CEO at AirZim after the dismissal of Muzenda, who reportedly opposed a board resolution to retrench more than 200 workers.
Chikore was also linked to Zimbabwe Airways, which is believed to be owned by the first family where he was tipped to become CEO.
Gumbo recently praised AirZim as the best run airline despite allegations that the national carrier was not making any profits. Gumbo said this during the 2018 pre-budget meeting in Victoria Falls last week.
He also heaped praise on Chikore after criticism that his appointment at AirZim was a result of his relationship with the first family.
“I was never told that who so ever is related to the first family must not be employed. I employed him on merit,” he said.
“You can accuse me, yes, but the guy is brilliant and has many years of experience with airlines after attaining degrees in America.”
Mugabe and his wife Grace have been under house arrest since last Wednesday and pressure is mounting on the 93-year-old ruler to resign.
The army said his family was safe and their security was guaranteed. Only Mugabe has been seen in public since the dramatic army takeover.