Former National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) workers have called on has once again called on President Emmerson Mnangagwa to fire the parastatal’s general manager Respina Zinyanduko.
The former employees through the National Railways of Zimbabwe Axed Worker’s Committee (NRZAWC) said Zinyanduko was incompetent, ignorant, unqualified and corrupt.
In a statement addressed to President Mnangagwa, Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development – Felix Mhona, Head of the Corporate Governance Unit (CGU) in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC)- Willard Manungo and NRZ Board Chairman – Martin Dinha, the former workers said the board had failed to rein in Zinyanduko.
The former employees were reacting to the outcome of an NRZ board meeting where a resolution was made to investigate Zinyanduko without suspending her.
“We would like to express displeasure at this resolution as it is retrogressive and is bent on protecting malpractices and corruption by Zinyanduko’s management at NRZ,” said NRZAWC, noting that its reservations were concerned with the breach of governance principles.
The former workers noted that the general manager’s conduct should be investigated by an independent body such as the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) or the CGU in the OPC.
“It is a circus for the General Manager’s colleagues in the NRZ Board to do proper and quality investigations on her as the Board has been protecting her shenanigans and corruption all along,” the ex-workers said.
They said there was evidence that the board “carelessly and indifferently ignored” several reports on Zinyanduko’s corrupt shenanigans submitted by the Acting Chief Finance Office.
“How does the Board do a clean investigation job when Zinyanduko is at work? How does one investigate someone who has been accused of serious corruption allegations without suspending her? What kind of corporate governance is that by the Minister and his Board?” they asked.
“If there is going to be a genuine and authentic probe on Zinyanduko, she has to be suspended so that she does not interfere with investigations. Right now, we hear that Zinyanduko’s henchmen in the Finance Branch are tampering with financial documents to try and protect her.”
NRZAWC claimed that the NRZ Board has been an accomplice and necessary enabler for Zinyanduko’s shenanigans and corrupt tendencies at NRZ.
“How then can an unclean accomplice investigate one of its own? In our petition to the President, the second demand is that the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development immediately dissolve the NRZ Board, which is clear that it is not only the General Manager who should be removed from the NRZ helm but the Board too,” the workers said.
“Any investigation on Zinyanduko has to adhere to the above principles, otherwise it is all fake, a circus and “rot and corruption covert” by the Minister and the NRZ Board.”
The workers decried that NRZ was “groaning and trembling in this circus” and was fair for an impromptu and right procedure to be taken to save the rail giant for the sake of the country’s economy.
“With the above gaps and loopholes in the Minister and NRZ Board’s actions, the NRZAWC continues to call on the President to urgently stop this rot and circus that is destroying the country’s only Rail system,” said NRZWAC.