NRZ demands cash upfront
Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
The National Railways of Zimbabwe will now demand cash upfront for all its services as part of a cocktail of measures aimed at improving revenue and viability, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo told Senate yesterday that NRZ had rationalised salaries for senior management and would vigorously pursue its debtors.
Minister Gumbo said this while responding to a question from Mashonaland Central Senator Damien Mumvuri (Zanu-PF) who wanted an update about an industrial action by NRZ workers and what Government was doing to ameliorate the situation.
- NRZ bosses receive $1m for salaries
- NRZ requires $500 000 for grain movement
- Govt engages NRZ debtors
“We have realised that some of the debtors were State entities and to that end, we will be requesting Treasury Bills so that we can pay some of our obligations like salaries. Some of our debtors have made some payments like ZPC, but we will also not render service before we are paid,” said Minister Gumbo.
He appealed to the workers to return to work to salvage the little of what was at the company.
In a related matter, Parliament’s portfolio committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development urged Government to recapitalise NRZ either from the fiscus, investment or accessing loans.
“The committee observed that NRZ has become a liability to the Government and noted the need for the shareholder to recapitalise it,’’ said committee chairperson Cde Dexter Nduna (Zanu-PF).
He urged Government to ensure that NRZ exploited mineral rights owned by the parastatal outside the country.
Cde Nduna was making reference to what was said by the then Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development Dr Obert Mpofu when he gave evidence where he said NRZ has several properties worth millions of dollars outside the country.
Dr Mpofu had also told the committee that Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa jointly owned vast mineral rights across Limpopo, but NRZ had no money to exploit them.
“The then Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development also informed the Committee that NRZ has mining claims in South Africa running into millions if not billions of dollars under Pan African Minerals Development Company,” said Cde Nduna.
The committee also noted that NRZ acting general manager Engineer Lewis Mukwada sat on the board of Beitbridge Bulawayo Railway Limited despite the fact that both entities were competitors.
“Workers felt that this was bad ethics for corporate governance,” said Cde Nduna.