Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

NRZ boss on indefinite leave pending investigations

By Oliver Kazunga

The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has sent its acting finance director Mr Mthandazo Mlotshwa on indefinite leave pending investigations on allegations of corruption and impropriety where the parastatal has been reportedly prejudiced of US$22,8 million.

Passengers disembark from a train in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (Picture by CLAIRE HARBAGE / NPR)
Passengers disembark from a train in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (Picture by CLAIRE HARBAGE / NPR)

The latest development comes hard on the heels of a recent directive by Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Joe Biggie Matiza for the parastatal’s board, which is chaired by Advocate Martin Dinha, to restructure NRZ management as well as implementing the recommendations of the 2017 forensic audit recommendations.

Mr Mlotshwa has since been served with the letter of his indefinite leave, which began on Monday this week. NRZ public relations manager, Mr Nyasha Maravanyika, confirmed the development in an interview.

He said NRZ was acting in accordance with Government’s directive around the issues of bringing sanity at the country’s strategic transporter in order to turn it around and reposition the organisation to profitability.

“The NRZ board has acted to ensure investigations around financial and procurement irregularities of the organisation are carried out.

“You should be aware that the Minister (Matiza) denounced corruption, bureaucracy and red tape and as such, the board is taking a fight against such vices.

“The NRZ board declared zero tolerance to corruption. The NRZ board wants the organisation to focus on production and profitability,” he said.

Close sources also said Mr Mlotshwa was facing other procurement irregulary allegations that NRZ has picked and would investigate. He could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Meanwhile, the NRZ board has started implementing the restructuring exercise of senior management at the parastatal.

The ongoing restructuring programme at NRZ seeks to revamp the whole managerial structure, and it is hoped that this will result in managerial functions being reassigned into a smaller and leaner group of top employees than the present six executive directors and 15 senior managers.

Unlike the past restructuring, which looked at eliminating non-managerial and lower paid staff, the present effort targets a smaller group of highly-paid staff.

The revamping of management comes after the recent retirement of three executive directors: general manager Mr Lewis Mukwada, director operations Mr Samson Bhuza, director corporate services Mr Misheck Matanhire and marketing director Mrs Elector Mafunga.

The posts of general manager and chief operations officer will remain at executive director level but the functions of corporate services, marketing, finance and administration, and technical services will be held by managers at a lower level. The Chronicle