NRZ fires 35 workers over ticket scam

THE National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has fired 35 workers, who are part of a group of about 500 employees implicated in the smuggling of agricultural equipment and fertiliser.

The scam, also involving Zambian nationals, was unearthed by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Z

imra) in the resort town of Victoria Falls last month. The smuggling is said to have prejudiced the state and the NRZ of billions of dollars in lost revenue.

NRZ workers, as part of their benefits, are entitled to privilege ticket orders that allow them to transport personal goods at 25% of the normal costs. The NRZ workers were allegedly selling the tickets to Zambian traders who used them to smuggle goods out of the country.

NRZ public relations manager, Fanuel Masikati, this week confirmed the dismissal of the 35 workers and said investigations were still going on into the involvement of other workers.

“We have dismissed 35 workers who were abusing the privilege ticket order,” said Masikati. “Investigations are still going on for the remainder of workers involved in the scam and more will be dismissed once investigations into their cases are complete,” Masikati said.

However, Masikati could not be drawn to confirm the number of workers involved in the scam. Sources within the NRZ said about 500 workers from various centres across the country were involved.

The sources said the scam has been going on for the past three years since the privilege tickets were introduced.

The sources said NRZ workers were selling the tickets to the Zambians in foreign currency while the wagons in which the goods were transported were marked “on NRZ business” and were therefore not subjected to searches by Zimra staff.  — Staff Writer.

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