By Judith Phiri
The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) board has appointed board member Mrs Restina Zinyanduko as acting general manager for three months as the parastatal moves towards restructuring top management.
The appointment of Mrs Zinyanduko comes after NRZ acting general manager Mr Joseph Mashika passed away last month.
In an interview, NRZ public relations manager Mr Nyasha Maravanyika confirmed the appointment of Mrs Zinyanduko which was done on Friday at a board meeting in Bulawayo.
“The NRZ board has appointed a new acting general manager Mrs Restina Zinyanduko on an initial three months period. She was appointed in terms of the Public Entities Corporate Governance Act Chapter 10. 31 section 17 (4) (b).
Her appointment was also seconded by the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), a parastatal which shares the same shareholder as NRZ which is the Government of Zimbabwe,” said Mr Maravanyika.
He also noted that Mrs Zinyanduko who is part of the NRZ board was serving as a board member and also chairperson of the Human Resources Committee for the board.
“The board used the same arrangement that they used for the appointment of the late Mr Joseph Mashika who was also from the NRZ board where he had served for six years and was then chosen to lead NRZ. She has come in with the same arrangement,” added Mr Maravanyika.
He also said that the board was still in the process of restructuring and appointing the top three executive directors with the board trimming the number 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.
Mr Maravanyika said the restructuring was meant to make the top executive leaner. There will only be general manager, the chief operations officer and chief finance officer. In terms of freight volumes, Mr Maravanyika said the target for 2021 was a minimum of 4,5 million tonnes compared to the 3,4 target for 2020 which was not achieved.
“For 2020 we achieved 2,5 million tonnes out of the targeted 3,4 million, so we did not perform well and the restructuring process is focused on the turnaround of the organisation,” he said.
He also highlighted that the entity was in need of capacitation of at least 40 locomotives, 300 wagons and 300 coaches to be able to meet the 4,5 million tonnes target. He said they were in negotiations with Government for assistance in that regard.
Mr Maravanyika added that amid the Covid-19-induced challenges the rains were also affecting their operations.
He added that the entity was at an advantage after Zambia banned the movement of outbound haulage trucks from using Livingstone-Victoria Falls border post.
“This is why we are saying NRZ must be ready when such opportunities come as Zambia has announced. Because NRZ is right at the centre of the region to provide competitive bulk rail transportation service for bulk goods (freight) and passengers.” The Sunday News