Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Government should institute a forensic audit to investigate the operations of the National Railways of Zimbabwe to establish if there is no breach of corporate governance issues by management, legislators heard last week.
NRZ workers alleged that a $500 million loan Government was negotiating should be disbursed to the parastatal after a proper audit had been done if the company was to derive meaningful returns.
The workers were giving evidence before a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development chaired by Chegutu West MP, Cde Dexter Nduna (Zanu-PF).
Railways Artisans Union president Mr Shadreck Mutakura said there were vices such as flouting of tender procedures, conflict of interest, among other issues, that could be unearthed by an audit.
“There is a lot of tender breaching that is happening. We have more lorries on the road carrying coal than wagons on the railway.
“We do not know if the business given to these businessmen is genuine or not. We need a forensic audit to clarify all this,” said Mr Mutakura.
He said trucking firms were contracted to carry fuel from Feruka in some instances using railway infrastructure with no benefit accruing to the State entity.
Mr Mutakura said there were public-private partnership deals that were signed by the NRZ that needed to be reviewed because they lacked transparency.
Zimbabwe Amalgamated Railways Workers’ Union president Mr Kamurai Moyo said the number of managers was not consistent with the employees and work being undertaken by the parastatal.
“We have a general manager and six directors with about 6 000 employees. Our major concern is that we are unable to move 18 million tonnes per year as we used to do, but only three million. The number of employees is going down but the number of directors is increasing,” said Mr Moyo.
He said workers were owed 13 months salary and that most of them were relying on the earnings of their spouses.