Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe International Airport operating without radar to guide air traffic

Saturday December 04 2021
Harare International Airport

An aircraft of Royal Dutch Airlines KLM is parked upon arrival to the Harare International Airport on October 30, 2012. PHOTO | JEKESAI NJIKIZANA | AFP



Planes are landing at Zimbabwe's main international airport without any radar systems to guide air traffic controllers, a lawmaker said in a video released Friday.

"We cannot continue to operate without a proper radar system. It is very dangerous in terms of security," said Oscar Gorerino, head of parliament's budget committee, during a parliament session recorded on Thursday.

Zimbabwe has already contracted with China Harbour Equipment Company to upgrade the radar at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare.

The Export-Import Bank of China loaned Zimbabwe $153 million to upgrade the airport, including the radar system, the committee heard.

But the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) said it only has $1.5 million in its coffers.


The new radar would cost $3.4 million, the committee said.

The hearing did not discuss what happened to the rest of the loan, or indicate when the radar broke down.

"It is very dangerous to have a non-functional radar system for a nation," Gorerino said.

"Why is it taking too long to be upgraded?"

Zimbabwe's economy has lurched from crisis to crisis for two decades, with foreign currency chronically in short supply.