Tanzanian President John Magufuli has announced that national carrier Air Tanzania’s aircraft Bombardier Q400 that was impounded in Canada in November before it could be delivered has been released.
Speaking on Wednesday at the ruling party meeting in Mwanza, Magufuli said the aircraft would be received in Mwanza on a date that is yet to be announced.
The President, however, did not disclose the details that led to the release of the aircraft which was impounded after a South African farmer Hermanus Steyn filed a $33 million compensation claim in Canada.
According to Foreign Affairs Minister Palamagamba Kabudi the seizure was because of a dispute between Tanzanian government and the retired farmer “seeking compensation for a farm and other properties that was nationalised in the 1980s”.
This was the third seizure incident of an Air Tanzania aircraft, in August; South African authorities impounded an Airbus 220-300 leased by Air Tanzania.
With a court battle that ensued, the plane was later released after the Gauteng Lower Division court in Dar es Salaam ruled against the seizure.
In 2017, Canadian construction firm Stirling Civil Engineering Ltd filed a court order to seize one of the airlines’ new Q400s in Canada before it could be delivered.
The Canadian company’s claim stemmed from a ruling in 2010 that awarded Stirling $38 million for a road contract that was terminated.