Vandals and thieves destroyed or stole railway infrastructure worth US$3,6 million over the last five years, with the growing destruction largely driven by gold panners.
Last year, police recorded 224 cases of people who were responsible for stealing NRZ property worth US$167 000, meaning a lot of crime and vandalism is not being accounted for.
As part of its commitment to fight vandalism and crime, NRZ recently trained a new group of 58 security staff and a passout parade was organised yesterday after a six-week programme.
The course covered foot drills, the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act, first aid, unarmed defence and general security operations.
Addressing the 58 NRZ security staff in Harare, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona said the nation relied on NRZ officials to fight vandalism and theft.
He said security staff were now ready to work together with other forces to guard rail infrastructure.
“As you now embark on taking up your duties and portfolios as assigned, I do urge you to remain committed to your duties and shun corruption,” he said.
“May it be a constant reminder that each and every one of you has a duty to uphold and defend the Constitution, obey the laws promulgated by the duly constituted authorities, and faithfully discharge to the best of your ability, the duties of the positions upon which you are about to enter.
“The railways and the nation at large rely on your commitment to fight corruption and prevent losses that disadvantage the NRZ and I am confident that you will uphold that duty to the best of your abilities.”
The security staff are distinctive in the history of the NRZ, as it is comprised of men and women reassigned from a restructuring, whose ages range between 32 and 59.
Minister Mhona encouraged the security staff to discharge their duties with professionalism and within the confines of the law, and with the same zeal and enthusiasm you have displayed this far in fulfilling your mandates .
“Let me reiterate the need to remain disciplined throughout your careers in the security branch. Discipline is the cornerstone of every profession and as such, there is no room for indiscipline and unruliness in the security sector.
“I therefore urge the NRZ security management to be decisive when dealing with cases of indiscipline,” he said.
In the past two years, six security personnel were dismissed for indiscipline, thus exhibiting the intolerance of corruption by management, which has Cabinet backing to take a decisive stance against corruption to ensure NRZ’s effectiveness.
The event was attended by NRZ board chairperson Advocate Martin Dinha and other senior Government officials.