WAR veterans have taken over the security department of the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) amid allegations that the parastatal is losing millions of dollars in property claims from custome
According to information that came to light during an outreach programme by the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs, Industry and International Trade, the war veterans are allegedly interfering in the smooth operations of the parastatal.
Moses Mzila, a member of the portfolio committee that visited Bulawayo this week, confirmed that they had received disturbing information on the presence of the war veterans at the troubled parastatal.
“Workers at the NRZ brought their complaints to the portfolio committee but management says it is not aware of the presence of the war veterans. The question to ask is who is paying these people if management is not aware of their presence?” said Mzila.
Efforts to contact NRZ corporate affairs manager Misheck Matanhire proved fruitless by the time of going to press.
Mzila said members of the public told the committee that war veterans operate from an office at the parastatal’s HQ and have been allocated a vehicle that they use for their operations.
“The war veterans are operating from office number 402 and they were allocated an NRZ vehicle number 558 and we are saying this is a case of complicity by some parties in management and the war veterans who are also said to be involved in the disappearance of goods from wagons,” Mzila said.
“We have asked the police to arrest these criminals because this is a simple case of mischief by people who have no mandate to be doing what they are doing at the NRZ.”
NRZ workers who made representations to the team said they were at times assaulted by war veterans whom they accused of stealing goods from wagons.
“The reports we have received on the war veterans are alarming and what makes this whole issue grave is management that is supposed to be in charge says it is not aware of the presence of these people who have been stationed around that office for months now,” Mzila said.
A worker at the NRZ said the war veterans number about 10.
The NRZ does not have a security officer at the moment, as the post was not filled when the former incumbent left a couple of years ago.