Airports operating normally after bomb, firearms threat

Mukudzei Chingwere Herald Reporter

THE country’s airports are now operating normally and stakeholders should use them without any reservations after the country’s security systems were put on high alert yesterday in response to reports of a bomb or firearm threat targeting the country’s ports of entry.

Airports Company of Zimbabwe chief executive officer Mr Tawanda Gusha yesterday assured the nation that all was in place for safe air travel after security was tightened around the country.

The Government had earlier issued a statement urging calm as the country’s security systems were in place to deal with any threats as investigations continued.

Alarm was raised after Fastjet Airlines forwarded an e-mail message to Zimbabwean authorities which originated from one ‘John Doe’ who claimed to have credible information that there was a bomb or firearm threat targeting Zimbabwean airports.

Investigations are also ongoing on Doe’s nationality and location.

Speaking to the Herald last night, Mr Gusha said: “(The) airports are operating including the Victoria Falls International Airport.

“We want to assure our stakeholders and all those using airports that the security services have taken all precautions to ensure that the travelling public is safe.”

In an earlier statement yesterday, the Deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet (Presidential Communications), Mr George Charamba, said the country’s security systems had been put on heightened                              alert.

“This morning Zimbabwe airport authorities were made aware of an email sent through Fastjet airline by one John Doe claiming ‘’credible bomb/firearm threat” targeting Zimbabwean airports,” said Mr Charamba.

“As a precaution, the country’s security systems are now on heightened alert following this message whose source and credibility is also being investigated.

“While our country is peaceful, and all our ports of entry are well secured, such alerts on possible terrorist attacks are taken and treated very seriously, as nothing should be left to chance.

“The nation is urged to remain calm while investigations are underway, the results of which will be made public by relevant arms of Government once investigations are concluded.

“His Excellency the President, Dr ED Mnangagwa, who this morning was slotted to address a meeting in the prime resort City of Victoria Falls, has had to suspend his trip to allow for investigations which are already underway”.

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