Former NRZ workers accuse Transport minister of bias

Felix Mhona

FORMER National Railways of Zimbabwe workers have accused Transport and Infrastructure Development minister Felix Mhona of protecting NRZ general manager Respina Zinyanduko, who they accuse of criminal abuse of office.

This follows events of last week when the NRZ Allied Workers Committee (NRZAWC) petitioned President Emmerson Mnangagwa to look into Zinyanduko’s alleged corruption at the parastatal. Zinyanduko is accused of nepotism, corruption, incompetence and favouritism, among other misdemeanours.

NRZAWC members said after their petition to Mnangagwa, Mhona ordered the board to sit last Tuesday.

The workers were, however, unhappy that after the board meeting, Zinyanduko was not suspended. The workers said they now suspect that Mhona was working in cahoots with Zinyanduko.

“We appreciate the swift action taken by President (Mnangagwa). However, we are surprised that after the President’s call, the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Felix Mhona, has not implemented this as per the call by the highest office in the land. He has instructed the NRZ board to do a ‘window-dressing’ on the President’s call,” NRZAWC said in a statement.

The workers demanded that Zinyanduko be investigated by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) or the Corporate Governance Unit in the President’s 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,” read the statement. The workers also alleged that Zinyanduko’s henchmen were already tampering with financial documents to protect her.

“In our petition to the President, the second demand (was) that the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development immediately dissolve the NRZ board, which is clear that it is not only the GM who should be removed, but the board too,” NRZAWC added.

They said Mnangagwa must stop the rot at NRZ.

Mhona yesterday said it was not the duty of the minister to suspend the NRZ general manager because he was not her employer.

“The board hires the GM and the same board takes disciplinary measures against the GM as well,” Mhona said.

NRZ board chairperson Martin Dinha could not give further details on the issue, but only said something was brewing.

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