An aeroplane being delivered to Tanzania’s national airline has been impounded in Canada over a Namibian-born farmer’s $33-million compensation claim, Tanzania’s foreign minister said Saturday.
The DHC Dash 8-400 aircraft, a turboprop also known as the Bombardier Q400 which seats up to 90 people, is the second to be seized in connection with case.
In August, an Airbus 220-300 aircraft was seized in South Africa’s Johannesburg airport, after it landed on a flight from Tanzania, but was released in September.
“The same person who went to court in South Africa, and caused the impounding of Airbus in August, went to a Canadian court,” Tanzania’s Foreign Minister Palamagamba Kabudi.
The plane, built by Canada’s De Havilland company, was due for delivery as part of a fleet expansion of the government-run Air Tanzania.
“We won in a case with this man in South Africa,” Kabudi added, speaking at a government function broadcast on state-media in Tanzania’s capital Dodoma.
“I summoned the Canadian ambassador to Tanzania and clearly told him that Tanzania is not happy – and we are actually angry,” Kabudi said.
The owner, who is now 86, was awarded $33 million (almost 30 million euros) in compensation in the 1990s — but the government only paid $20 million. The outstanding balance of $16 million has accrued interest over the decades and now stands at $33 million, according to his lawyer.