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We are flying safely into Zimbabwe - Air Namibia

by Kelvin Chiringa

The political situation in neighbouring Zimbabwe has intensified with arrests of top officials and the president in the hands of the army, however, Air Namibia confirmed that it was still making flights into that country.

Speaking to The Villager yesterday, Paul Nakawa, Manager of Corporate Communications said operations had not been hindered.

  “Our operations in Harare, Zimbabwe will continue as per schedule. We have an office and representatives in Harare, and our colleagues are monitoring the situation. They are also in constant communication with the Civil Aviation Authority in Zimbabwe. As an airline community, we remain on high alert as safety of our passengers is key in our operations,” said

Air Namibia operates three flights to Zimbabwe per week, on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.

The Zimbabwean government has been suspended with widespread arrests of top officials having been reportedly made. 

By Wednesday evening, Zimbabwe’s war veterans were already calling for the effective removal of under-siege 94-year-old President Robert Mugabe whose wife is also said to be on the run.

The British Embassy in Zimbabwe, by the beginning of the day yesterday was circulating a video-recording sternly warning British nationals to stay indoors. 

The military take-over which has been widely described as a coup, culminated Tuesday night with reports of the army having commandeered the national broadcaster, ZBC.

Sources from within Zimbabwe confirmed that shots were fired and media staff roughed up before the deputy commander Sibusiso Moyo made announcements that the first family was safely in their hands and arrests of “criminals” commencing.

Reports and images of a suspected house of finance Minister Ignatius Chombo went viral by mid-afternoon showing bullet-riddled walls, broken furniture and a sealed gate.

Unverified reports also said the minister’s aide was killed in a rough exchange of fire before the military broke in.

Images taken by citizen journalists from the capital Harare showed a desolate CBD with occasional cars passing army tanks. 

Zimbabweans within the country and those in the diaspora have taken to social media, in celebration of the sudden turn of events in a country that has known no other president other than Robert Mugabe, since he took over office from the then ceremonial president Canaan Banana.

The military has said it will pave way for a democratic dispensation once it was done with its mission of rooting out what it called rogue elements that had hijacked the country’s revolution.

Meanwhile,the  Namibian and South African governments have called for calm and restraint.