Tanzanian auditor-general has revealed how the country’s national airline revived by former President John Magufuli and touted as a success made big losses over the last five years.

Charles Kicheere announced this while releasing the audit report for the 2019/2020 financial year, saying the airline had made losses of 150 bn Tanzanian shillings ($65m; £47m) in the past five years, including 60 bn shillings last year.

He identified challenges such as the “lack of directors who had any experience in airline management”, which the government ought to address.

He also cited problems in the management of the airline during the coronavirus pandemic last year, when aircraft were grounded but continued paying rental fees to a government agency that owns them.

“This resulted from a contractual agreement between TGFA [Tanzania Government Flight Agency] and ATCL [the airline] not having an exception clause that would would have exempted the airline from paying the amounts during a major crisis, so this contributed to the big losses,” he said.

The auditor also cited debts that the airline had inherited from previous years that were a heavy burden for the company.

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