Parliament dismisses NRZ employees’ petition on GM

The Parliament of Zimbabwe has dismissed as “inadmissible” a petition by National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) employees requesting the august House to order Transport Minister, Felix Mhona, to fire the parastatal’s general manager (GM), Respina Zinyanduko, whom they accuse of running down the state entity.

NRZ employees in June this year alleged that despite the management’s narrative that NRZ is facing operational challenges, the truth of the matter is that the company is generating significant income which is allegedly being misappropriated by the same at the expense of nearly 4, 000 employees most of whom are paid peanuts.

They accused Zinyanduko of mismanaging the company, calling for the responsible authority to act on the matter.

A number of letters have been written by the disgruntled workers petitioning, Minister Mhona, Bulawayo Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution in Bulawayo Judith Ncube, NRZ Board Chairman, Martin Dinha, Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Bulawayo ZANU PF provincial Chairman Jabulani Sibanda, to rescue them and rein in the GM to no avail.

In those letters, workers complained of victimisation, corruption and nepotism they have suffered and witnessed since Zinyanduko took over as the GM in January 2021 in an acting capacity following the death of acting GM Joseph Mashika.

Zinyanduko, the first-ever woman to head the railway company was in December last year appointed substantive GM.

National Assembly Deputy Speaker, Tsitsi Gezi told legislators on Tuesday that the Parliament had received a petition from NRZ workers.

“I have to inform the House that on Thursday 27th September 2022, Parliament received a petition from the National Railways of Zimbabwe Workers beseeching Parliament to call upon the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development to fire the National Railways of Zimbabwe General Manager and dismiss the board of directors among other things, for a number of allegations,” said Gezi.

“The petition was deemed inadmissible as the petitioners did not meet statutory requirements and the petitioners have been advised accordingly.”

In July this year, former NRZ workers also called on President Emmerson Mnangagwa to fire 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, 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.

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