an African Cup of Nations qualifier soccer match involving the national team and Malawi. It has been confirmed that the country faced the danger of sanctions from the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) because there was no fuel to fly the team from Harare to Bulawayo and the visitors were forced to go by road at the last minute.
FIFA rules and regulations stipulate that a visiting team should be flown for any distance exceeding 200 km. Harare to Bulawayo is 439 km. “The flights to Dubai and Singapore were actually cancelled and regional ones re-scheduled – a situation that led to many people cancelling their bookings and using other alternatives,” a senior official at Air Zimbabwe said.
“There was virtually no fuel and the Malawi soccer team almost went by road, as did our local team. The situation has slightly improved but still overshadowed by a lot of uncertainty because the airline is broke.”
The national airline is reportedly operating most routes at losses, especially those to Asia, where the struggling Zanu (PF) regime is trying to forge alliances following a fall-out with the majority of the international community due to President Robert Mugabe’s well-chronicled record of bad governance and human rights abuses. – Itai Dzamara
Zim women on hunger strike
Five female detainees from Zimbabwe, currently in Yarl’s Wood IRC, began a hunger strike yesterday in protest against their imminent deportation back to Zimbabwe. The women have been named as Maud Lennard Kadango, Zandile Sibanda, Pauline Chitekeshe, Rose Phekani and Faina Pondesi.
They are demanding to be released from detention. They women have all been issued with removal directions this week.
Air Zimbabwe planes ground to a halt last week due to lack of Jet A1, and sources at the national airline have revealed that virtually all the flights had to be cancelled or rescheduled, prejudicing it of huge amounts of revenue.
The situation also affected the country's hosting of