Zimbabwe: Harare airport renamed after Robert Mugabe


    The Harare International Airport has been renamed after
    Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe during an official ceremony
    held in Harare on Thursday.

    The government has so far gobbled  up $500 000 to fund the
    process of renaming of the airport to the Robert Gabriel Mugabe
    International Airport, including $300 000 paid to the surveyor
    general’s office, while the remainder funded the official
    renaming ceremony.

    Transport minister Joram Gumbo, speaking at the renaming
    ceremony, said: “Your Excellency, in recognition of your
    sterling work in the aviation industry and to the generality of
    the Zimbabweans in liberating this country and economically
    empowering them, our ministry is implementing the busiest and
    biggest and busiest airport in your honour.”

    Gumbo highlighted that this will see the Robert Mugabe
    International Airport undergoing rehabilitation and
    development. “This includes the construction of three
    additional aero bridges, a new fire station, a modern terminal
    building and a new Very Very Important People (VVIP) pavilion.

    He cited that negotiations for the financing of the project are
    nearing completion and expected to commence by the end of the
    year. A Chinese company, China Jiangsu International, has been
    contracted to do the work.

    Mugabe said during the renaming ceremony: “It is indeed a great
    honour for me and I’m humbled by this gesture.”

    Michael Chideme, the public relations officer for Harare City
    Council said, this is not something new in the world as we have
    seen airport named after JF Kennedy, Kenneth Kaunda. “We are
    hoping it will bring the much needed investment in the country,
    Chideme added.

    Meanwhile, the ruling party ZANU-PF’s supreme decision-making
    body, the politburo, met on  Wednesday and reached a
    decision to expel Emmerson Mnagagwa, the former Vice President
    of Zimbabwe, from the party. This comes barely two day after he
    was fired from government. A five page letter attributed to him
    yesterday cited how he had been unfairly treated despite his
    loyalty to Mugabe for more than 40 years.

    The communication from Emmerson Mnagagwa, who many believe has
    left the country for South Africa, reads: “I will go nowhere, I
    will fight tooth and nail against those making a mockery
    against ZANU-PF founding principles, ethos and values. You and
    your cohorts will instead leave Zanu-PF by the will of the
    people and this we will done in the coming few weeks as
    Zimbabweans in general now require new and progressive
    leadership that is not resident in the past and refuses to
    accept change.”

    Speaking during the politburo meeting on Wednesday, ruling
    party spokesperson, Simon Khaya Moyo said: “On the request of
    the 10 provinces, the Women’s and the Youth League, the
    Politburo has unanimously expelled former Vice President and
    Second Secretary of the party Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa as a
    member of the party.”

    Former Bulawayo (second largest city in Zimbabwe) provincial
    youth leader Magura Charumbira was also dismissed for
    masterminding the booing of Grace Mugabe at a controversial
    Youth Interface rally held over the weekend.

    Further, the ZANU-PF disciplinary committee is expected to deal
    with several remaining Mnangagwa’s allies.

    On another note, a much awaited special congress will be held
    from 12-17 December, which is set to bring to finality the
    replacement of the Vice President’s position. First lady Grace
    Mugabe has already been chosen as the candidate of choice,
    which means she will lead alongside her husband.   DM

    Photo: The plaque is unveiled at  the international airport
    in Harare. Photo: Sally Nyakanyanga.