HARARE – National Railways of Zimbabwe Acting Chief Finance Officer Joel Lunga has written to the board alleging unethical and corrupt conduct by General Manager Respina Ziyanyanduko as a can of worms threatens to shipwreck the already struggling state entity.
Lunga accuses Ziyanyanduko of tender manipulation, breaching procurement regulations, unprocedural retrenchments, creating parallel structures of workers loyal to her cause and using the NRZ security branch to intimidate opponents.
Among the high profile employees who have been dismissed is NRZ spokesperson Maravanyika who was suspended on August 6 2021 pending an investigation over yet-to-be-made-public allegations raised in an anonymous letter sent to the GM.
Engineer Phillip Chifamba who was also on suspension has also been shown the exit the door. Both employees deny any wrongdoing.
Reached for comment Ziyanyanduko declined to respond to questions sent by Zim Morning Post saying the NRZ board will soon issue a press statement regards the accusations.
In a letter to the NRZ board, Lunga alleges that he could be next on the chopping board due to “systematic victimisation” which he claims he has suffered at the hands of the GM in the last six months.
He adds that the work environment at NRZ has become toxic.
“The General Manager, has been issuing instructions with a huge financial bearing directly to Mr. Manyimo without my knowledge,” Lunga alleged.
“A case in point is the disbursement of the CBZ Loan where NRZ secured ZWL220m and a plan was drawn to use the amount to refurbish Locomotives and Wagons. To date the bank balance on this account is ZWL1 million and only ZWL30.6 million was used for the intended purpose, An amount of ZWL110 Million was disbursed by Mr. Manyimo at the instruction of the General Manger without the knowledge of the CFO. I believe this is the reason why they are efforts to get me away from the purse.”
Lunga alleged that the Independence and Integrity of the Audit and Security Branches has become questionable lately.
“I have personally been approached by staff from these branches where they are bemoaning the current modus operandi where they are being made to change their reports to suit a certain outcome,” he claimed.
“Such behaviour undermines the fundamentals of independence which should naturally come with these functions. The use of these branches as tools for achieving systematic victimization of employees must not continue unabated. It is my humble opinion that the NRZ has a duty to comply with the tenants of Corporate Governance principles and these functions must carry out their activities without any interference from any individual.”
Commenting on the going on at the NRZ, LEAD President Linda Tsungirirai Masarira said “my humble plea is for ZACC to investigate all the corrupt activities…and for the Ministry of transport to fully investigate the gross mismanagement of the parastatal.”