By Judith Phiri
The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has lost equipment worth US$167 785 in a year while the value of those recovered stands at US$79 946 with 322 criminals arrested out of 124 cases that were dealt with, an official has said.
Speaking on behalf of the Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona at the NRZ commissioning of utility operational resource vehicles and pass-out parade for the company’s security guards in Bulawayo on Friday, his deputy Cde Mike Madiro praised the NRZ security for dealing with theft cases.
“Let me compliment the NRZ security for being successful in dealing with a total 124 cases in the past year which were responsible for stolen goods worth US$167 785 with value recovered being US$79 946. A total of 322 criminals were arrested for various offences. The organisation has also increased capacity for its security establishment by purchasing motor cycles for security patrols within the railway reserve land and along its main line and sidings,” said Deputy Minister Madiro.
He said NRZ was also going the technology way as it targeted to acquire drones and closed-circuit televisions (CCTV) to aid its operations. The Deputy Minister said NRZ has experienced losses in the past as a result of lack of effective and disciplined security staff and the organisation has had to fire several ill-disciplined details and other railway employees.
He noted that security establishments were not home to criminals and implored NRZ to continue ridding the railway security of any malcontents. Deputy Minister Madiro challenged the 46 NRZ security members who graduated during the pass-out parade to have discipline and zero tolerance to corruption.
“As fresh graduates, I implore you to understand and appreciate the character of the security establishment. You need to have discipline to survive in security and embrace it to protect railway property and our people. I am confident that with the richness of the training you have just undergone, you are now complete in terms of discipline and l urge you to have zero tolerance to indiscipline and corruption,” he said.
He paid homage to the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority for successfully carrying out the training programmes for NRZ security and said it reflected cohesion among Government departments meant to improve operations all round. Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Judith Ncube said discipline was key among NRZ security.
“It is so embarrassing to hear that workers are the ones stealing from their own organisation. When you go to jail your families suffer and your children will also be greatly affected. We do not want to read about you in the media as accomplices and perpetrators of vandalism, theft and illegal gold panning on our infrastructure. To you all pass-out graduates, be virtues of discipline and be accountable for your actions,” said Minister Ncube.
She said there should be zero tolerance for all acts and actions that destabilize the rail system and network. Minister Ncube applauded NRZ for setting the ball rolling by availing job opportunities and at a critical time where most jobs were lost due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite some challenges faced by NRZ, she said the company still plays a key role in the resuscitation of Bulawayo’s industry, thus positively contributing towards the attainment of an upper middle-class society by 2030. Of the 46 NRZ security graduates, 27 were new recruits and 19 were old personnel that were trained to be supervisors. Three of the security members were awarded the most improved student, most disciplined student and overall best recruit. The Sunday News