Faulty battery nearly brings down President Mnangagwa’s chopper
PRELIMINARY findings have revealed that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s helicopter, which crash-landed recently while he was travelling to Harare, had a faulty power system and dysfunctional battery.
According to the investigative paper eNewsHawks, the Presidential chopper’s cockpit avionics indicated that the battery was not charging mid-air.
This reportedly led to a hair-raising few minutes of mid-air instability, prompting the pilot to opt for an emergency landing in a communal farming village near Sandringham, about 64 kilometers south-west of Harare.
Quoting unnamed sources, the online publication reports that President Mnangagwa has immediately ordered the tightening of security and an improvement of the communication system following a failure in the relaying of messages by his aides and air traffic controllers at Manyame Airbase.
President Mnangagwa has also beefed up his motorcade and brought in Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) signalers to reinforce his communication system when he flies out of Harare, according to eNewsHawks.
He normally travels to his Precabe Farm in Sherwood, Kwekwe, at weekends.
According to eNewsHawks, President Mnangagwa was terrified about the incident.
Presidential spokesperson, George Charamba, however, dismissed the report by eNewsHawks as a “newshoax”, saying nothing of the sort ever happened.
The AFZ, which maintains the President’s helicopter, recently suffered at least two helicopter crashes this year alone, one of which killed several of the military unit’s most trained personnel.
On 23 April 2021, an AFZ Agusta Bell 412 AB-412 helicopter from Number 8 Squadron crashed in Hukuru area just outside Harare. Four crew members and one civilian on the ground died. No mayday was transmitted
It also emerged that recent reports that President Mnangagwa splashed US$20 million were untrue, as the old helicopter inherited from the Robertson Mugabe administration was simply repainted to give ot a fresh look.