Purchase of helicopters could be cover for looting: ZAPU

The sale and delivery of the 18 Hansat helicopters from Russia to Zimbabwe may be a cover-up to rob state resources through pricing distortions, which is not surprising given the corruption allegations that have dogged President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime, oppositional ZAPU has claimed.

President Mnangagwa received 18 Hansat helicopters from Russia on Thursday, each costing US$2.5 million and are intended for use by the police, air force, medical evacuation and VIP transport.

The helicopters were personally delivered to President Mnangagwa by Sergey Chemezov, head of Russia’s state arms firm.

However, ZAPU says the delivery of these helicopters is questionable and could be a cover-up of looting of state resources.

“ZAPU is dismayed at reports that the Zanu PF government led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa today took receipt of several helicopters from a Russian company acquired using taxpayers money,” said ZAPU national spokesperson, Msongelwa Ndlovu.

Ndlovu said in a ‘normal’  country with a  ‘normal’ economy , purchasing such choppers would be a cause of celebration but claimed that Zimbabwe is far from being a normal country.

“The country itself is desperate for airlifting to seek medical attention as everything has simply stopped working. As we write this, one US dollar buys ZWL$3 000. Our hospitals have no medication, including basic painkillers like paracetamol. Our country has no single functioning cancer machine. Amidst all this, the government  procures helicopters to airlift patients and other emergencies only to fly them to empty hospitals,” said the spokesperson, who remarked the reasoning behind such was the government was led by lunatics.

“Alas there’s a formula to this madness, this transaction is one of many opportunities deliberately created by the busy looting committee based on the third floor of Zanu PF headquarters to loot state resources dry through  price distortion and inflation.”

Ndlovu also alleged that “a quick check on the normal cost of these helicopters shows that prices have been inflated more than tenfold.“

“We urge our journalists and genuine  friends of Zimbabwe to investigate  this to expose who is behind this latest scandal. We are certain that individuals implicated in the gold mafia documentary by Al Jazeera or their associates with links to high ranking government officials are responsible for this heist,“ he said.

Ndlovu noted it was ironic that the purchase came immediately after the passing of the controversial Medical Supplies Statutory Instrument, which he claimed “was designed to conceal scandals  of this nature.”

This helicopter purchase, said the spokesperson was “fast tracked to coincide with the delivery of these choppers. Zimbabwe must continue to register to vote and condemn this regime to the dustbin of political history.”

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