By Oliver Kazunga
The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) board has called for an urgent “crisis” meeting to map the way forward in terms of the parastatal’s restructuring following the demise of the entity’s acting general manager.
Mr. Joseph Mashika who was appointed NRZ acting general manager in August last year passed on last Sunday at a time the board and management were implementing the restructuring of the entity.
In an interview, NRZ public relations manager Mr. Nyasha Maravanyika said tomorrow’s meeting which would be held in Bulawayo will also focus on strategising operations to improve performance after the firm in 2020 moved 2,5 million tonnes of cargo from 2,8 million a year earlier.
The dip in freight volume has largely been attributed to the detrimental impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Going forward as NRZ, the board has quickly ordered that we have what l would call a ‘crisis’ meeting or ‘refocused’ meeting to review NRZ operations.
“The meeting is coming as a result of the demise of the acting general manager; it is also coming when we dipped in terms of our performance.
“In 2019, we had 2,8 million tonnes and then dropped to 2,5 million tonnes in 2020 and the dip is largely premised on the issue of the Covid-19 pandemic which the Government declared a natural disaster in 2020,” he said.
As part of a restructuring exercise which began last year, NRZ is trimming the number of executive directors from six to three.
Last year, the parastatal’s board, which is chaired by Advocate Martin Dinha relieved former general manager Engineer Lewis Mukwada, and three other senior executives namely: director marketing Mrs. Elector Mafunga, director operations Mr. Samson Bhuza and director corporate services Mr. Misheck Matanhire of their duties.
NRZ has since submitted to Government some of the names of the interviewed and incumbent candidates to fill in senior executive posts under a leaner management structure the entity has adopted.
On the restructuring exercise, Mr Maravanyika said NRZ was pursuing the initiative, which is expected to add impetus on the entity’s transformation.
“There is no going back in terms of restructuring of NRZ, so this meeting is going to look at all those things because when the board relieved most of the top management you find that the management at NRZ currently, is depleted.
“So, the board has to come up with a working theme and make sure that the organisation continues to go on the vision and thrust of the shareholder (Government),” he said. The Chronicle