FORMER Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) president Luxon Zembe has snubbed attempts by government to make him a National Railways of Zimbabwe
(NRZ) board member, businessdigest can reveal.
Zembe who was transferred this week by Transport and Communications minister Chris Mushohwe from the board of Air Zimbabwe to the NRZ board cited poor corporate governance practice and unprofessional conduct on the part of government in effecting the transfer.
In a letter dated September 5, Zembe said his decision to turn down the appointment was simply a matter of principle, integrity and moral conscience and was in no way linked to the current NRZ board, its management and staff.
“After a prayerful and serious consideration of the offer, regrettably I am not able to take up the NRZ board appointment,” reads the letter by Zembe.
The letter which was addressed to Mushohwe was also copied to President Robert Mugabe and Air Zimbabwe chairman Mike Bimha.
Zembe said he was not happy with the manner in which he was transferred from the Air Zimbabwe board to NRZ.
“Nobody had the courtesy to talk to me about the transfer from the Air Zimbabwe board to NRZ board. I am an independent board member and can not be subjected to willy nilly board transfers as if I am a civil servant.”
“Acceptance to sit on any board is a matter for serious consideration by any person of integrity. The tenets of good corporate governance demand that a company director acts in good faith with moral uprightness and intellectual honesty in the best interest of the organisation and in case of public companies in the best interest of the nation,” said Zembe.
Zembe accused government of compromising good corporate governance practice at the airline at the time of his appointment to the NRZ board saying this had forced him to turn down the offer.
Zembe said it was unfortunate that this transfer came after some serious corporate governance issues between the Air Zimbabwe board and its shareholder.
“Corporate governance sins of self-interest, self-concern and ‘zero sum’ power game are at the core of the issues which you are fully aware of. Unfortunately this is all happening at the detriment of Air Zimbabwe and some innocent souls are being sacrificed at the altar of sin,” said Zembe.
Zembe said that the Air Zimbabwe board had been subjected to routine threats, interference and abuses from politicians.
“I worked with a solid, upright board that could not be frightened or intimidated. And I am proud that we achieved remarkable progress in the turnaround process,” he said.