Abigail Mawonde Herald Correspondent
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has approved the renaming of the Harare International Airport to Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo has said.
In an interview with The Herald yesterday, Minister Gumbo said the airport would change its name by end of November as there were other processes that needed to be addressed like involving other stakeholders both locally and internationally.
Airports have codes and once Harare International Airport is renamed Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, the codes are also changed.
“The International Civil Aviation Organisation has approved the change of name. The process has started and by end of November we will have renamed it,” he said.
Minister Gumbo said the renaming of the airport was in recognition of the role President Mugabe has played as a liberator, educator and champion of black empowerment.
“Look at what has happened in Africa and even Europe. There is OR Tambo in South Africa, Kamuzu Banda in Malawi and the J.F Kennedy International Airport in the US in recognition of their icons. This is why we have the J. Nkomo Airport in Bulawayo. I am excited about it and I am sure Zimbabweans are excited about it too,” he said.
Minister Gumbo said Zanu-PF had also on numerous occasions requested that the Harare International Airport be renamed after President Mugabe especially at its conferences and congresses.
“We think it is a small recognition by the people of Zimbabwe to name the Harare International Airport as the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport. It is something small to recognise his contribution.
“He is a peacemaker. He is an icon for all of us. He is an icon for Africa,” said Minister Gumbo.
Minister Gumbo said the renaming of the airport would also coincide with its upgrading into a massive modern day structure befitting the name Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.