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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Govt working to re-merge Air Zimbabwe and NHS

Story by John Nhandara

THE Government has engaged a consultant to work on re-merging of the national airline, Air Zimbabwe, and the National Handling Services(NHS) to improve efficiency at the country’s airports.

The Deputy Minister Ministry of Transport ad Infrastructural Development indicated that there is a possibility to re-merge NHS and Air Zimbabwe for the sustainability of service provision.

NHS is a state enterprise that offers aviation ground services at the country’s airports.

“Issues to do with a re-merger between NHS and Air Zimbabwe have been topical and the fact that sustainability of service provision has to be guaranteed given the competitive nature of the industry. This is a policy position which is now work in progress,” said Deputy Minister Mike Madiro.

NHS held its annual general meeting in Harare this Tuesday, where attention was drawn to the need for retooling and capacitation of the parastatal in line with the government’s thrust of revamping the country’s aviation facilities.

Retooling of the parastatal comes at a time when the government has completed the expansion of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport where the airport’s handling capacity of passenger and cargo volumes is expected to increase.

“We are focusing on recapitalisation on our five-year plan where we are concentrating on bringing new state-of-the-art equipment to complement what the government is doing in refurbishing and building new aviation facilities,” said NHS CEO, Mr Godknows Marawanyika.

Calls were made to also market the Zimbabwe dry port facility, which is operating below capacity, owing to a lack of equipment that requires about US$2 million.

“Since we started operations in 2019, to date we have handled 385 cars and we have a bond that we use for clearance. So we have managed 1 553 bond entries. The dry port is not operating at full capacity, we require about US$2 million to fully equip the dry port with things like a reach stacker, side loader, refrigerated facilities to at pre-refrigerated products, a warehouse,” said Zimbabwe Dryport general manager, Mr Theodore Chinyanga.

The Zimbabwe dry port enables the country to increase its business and trade opportunities by importing and exporting directly to Europe, and West Africa, using ocean cargo services.

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