Zimbabwe yet to release US cargo plane

Zimbabwe yet to release US cargo plane

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 7:57 am

the MD 11 trijet cargo plane seized in Harare. Photo: Zimbabwe Herald

the MD 11 trijet cargo plane seized in Harare. Photo: Zimbabwe Herald

Zimbabwe police authorities said they were yet to conclude investigations into how a body found its way into a US registered cargo plane carrying millions of Rands to South Africa.

The authorities had impounded the plane after a body dripping with blood was found aboard  on Sunday at Harare International Airport.

Police Spokesman, senior assistant commissioner, Charity Charamba said they wanted to find out for how long the body had been on  the plane and how the person died. The police also wanted to know the nationality of the deceased.

“The investigation is not a one-off thing but a process. So people have to be patient”, Charamba told the state owned Herald.

On Monday, both the officials of Western Global Airlines, owners of the plane and South African officials said the body was that of a stowaway.

The MD11 cargo plane, owned by Florida-based Western Global Airlines, had stopped to refuel at Harare’s domestic airport on Sunday when the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) discovered the body and impounded the plane.

South Africa’s ambassador to Zimbabwe Vusi Mavimbela told Reuters six crew and a few officials from the South African central bank were onboard.

“Unfortunately there was a stowaway that was found on the plane and (Zimbabwe) authorities are trying to get to the bottom of the issue,” he said.

“Where did the person get in there? When and how? Because the crew and the Reserve Bank authorities who were there accompanying the cargo were not aware,” he said.


The plane was leased to Network Airlines of Britain and the cargo belonged to South Africa’s central bank, plane owner Western Global Airlines said in an email to Reuters.

“The body is presumed to be a stowaway who may have entered the airplane during a previous stop,” the company said in a statement.

Pradeep Maharaj, group executive at the bank, said the organization was working with Zimbabwean officials to have the plane and cargo released



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