President Robert Mugabe’s son-in-law, Simba Chikore, is the new chief operating officer (COO) at the struggling national airliner, Air Zimbabwe.
Chikore, whose background as a pilot has been questioned, married Mugabe’s first and only daughter, Bona, in 2014 and becomes the second most senior staffer at Air Zimbabwe which Mugabe regularly uses for his external trips.
The Mugabe family is rumoured to be building a get-away home in the Far East as protests against his 36-year rule mount and control of the airline is considered strategic in the event they are forced to flee the country.
Chipo Dyanda, the Air Zimbabwe chairperson and a Zanu PF apologist, on Tuesday confirmed to the local The Source business publication that Chikore had been appointed the new COO
Mugabe’s critics have repeatedly accused the 92-year-old president of creating a dynasty in the twilight of his political career.
His wife, Grace, was in 2014 elevated to head the ruling Zanu PF women’s league despite her not holding any notable position in the party before.
Even though she has denied it, rumour lingers that Mugabe is plotting for her to succeed him so as to hedge the first family against internal and external enemies.
Recently, Chikore’s brother, Derrick, was awarded a $200 million power tender at Dema, a peri-urban diesel-powered plant some 40km to the south of Harare.
He was awarded the tender alongside a Zanu PF funder, Kuda Tagwirei, despite irregularities in tendering.
Chikore’s appointment follows the August appointment of Ripton Muzenda, the son of Mugabe’s late, long-serving deputy Simon Muzenda, as chief executive.