BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
FIRED National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) workers have petitioned President Emmerson Mnangagwa, demanding the removal of general manager Respina Zinyanduko.
The employees are accusing Zinyanduko, who joined the railway firm in December last year, of gross corruption, incompetency, favouritism, deception, regionalism and patronisation.
Workers also questioned her qualifications to lead NRZ.
In a petition dated June 30, 2022, workers also demanded dissolution of the NRZ board led by Martin Dinha with immediate effect, as well as reinstatement of all contract workers who they claimed have been replaced by Zinyanduko’s relatives.
They also demanded the reinstatement of the union leadership, senior and experienced managers and 17 other employees who claim they were fired unprocedurally.
“We demand the immediate intervention of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, armed with the Auditor-General’s report on the organisation, on Zinyanduko and NRZ board’s corrupt activities,” the petition signed by 25 employees, reads in part.
“We demand the immediate reversal of all unevaluated job creations, raisings and gradings done by Zinyanduko and his puppet Mlambo. We demand the immediate removal of all unqualified workers employed by Zinyanduko.”
“We demand the immediate intervention of the government’s corporate governance unit (CGU) in re-evaluating and analysing the so-called NRZ new structure and restructuring process.”
“Your Excellency, we are writing this petition through your esteemed office so that there is restoration of peace, production and revival of the entity and national pride at the NRZ,” they said.
The workers said the country’s corporate governance policy does not empower institutions to appoint CEOs from the board level coming down to the accounting officer level but recommends an appointment of someone from the system or operations of the organisation to ensure the organisation’s vision is not lost.
“But we are surprised that this unqualified and incompetent Zinyanduko was appointed substantive general manager after serving less than a year in the NRZ Board,” they said.
Contacted for comment, Zinyanduko said the issues raised by employees on the petition were addressed in a press statement released on June 24, 2022.
In the press statement, the NRZ board said the institution has clear recruitment and promotion procedures which are religiously followed in the recruitment of all levels of staff.
“In addition and in line with the succession planning policy of the National Railways of Zimbabwe, staff rotation is implemented so that all employees have exposure to leadership positions,” it said.
The board also said it was working professionally and remains committed to fulfilling the shareholder objectives inclusive of turning around NRZ.
Key to this is building a professional management team to implement the turnaround, it said.