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Minister defends appointment of Tshinga Dube (81) to NRZ board

Transport Minister Felix Mhona has defended the appointment of former Zanu-PF politburo member, Colonel (Retired) Tshinga Dube (81) to the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) board.

Mhona triggered outcry after it emerged that he had appointed Dube to the parastatal that needed serious restructuring and modern technology.

The Minister and government faced backlash from the general public arguing that the organisation needed fresh and young blood.

NRZ is currently struggling to stay afloat amid allegations of corruption which have dampened prospects of its resuscitation.

Addressing journalists in Harare yesterday, Mhona said the appointment of Dube came after much consideration of competence.

“These are some of the concerns. Imagine someone who is out of the country will then be seized with the matter of the age of Tshinga Dube while turning a blind eye to what he is doing to help the organization,” he said.

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Dube himself, yesterday came in the open and defended himself telling NewsDay that his brains were still stable, with capacity to head NRZ.

“I was appointed by my President Emmerson Mnangagwa who is the appointing authority. If you have queries, go and ask him. l have committed no sin to be appointed to the NRZ board, after all l am not the chief executive officer.

“I don’t work on my feet, but I use my brains, and my brain is still stable. l have been in the industry for many years, and have sat on over 20 boards worldwide.

“l have resuscitated many companies and I don’t care what people say since I would not be able to answer to all of them,” Dube said.

NRZ said Dube would serve for three years on the board whose term ends on December 6, 2025.

Journalist and political commentator Hopewell Chin’ono tweeted a video of an NRZ train and wrote “This is the state of the National Railways of Zimbabwe trains due to historic incompetence and massive looting of public funds under 42 years of ZANUPF corrupt rule.

“Appointing an 81 year old man is a middle finger gesture to Zimbabweans at this time!” he tweeted.