TRANSPORT and Communications permanent secretary Karikoga Kaseke has slammed Road Motor Services (RMS) personnel for allowing services at the parastatal to deteriorate.
Addressing journalists after Wednesday’s train accident in Harare, Kaseke said the service at RMS had degenerated into systematic confusion.
Kaseke was furious that a statement on the accident could not be produced on time, as the computers at the parastatal were not working. RMS is a wholly owned government road haulage company.
After a tour of the accident scene at the central station senior government officials went to the RMS offices which are in the railway yard along Seke Road. Transport minister Christopher Mushowe was supposed to issue a statement on the accident from the RMS offices but he was disappointed.
“Nothing works here. Computers don’t work, people don’t work, trains are involved in accidents,” Kaseke said. “They are saying the printer is not connected to the computer and the two are not interlinked, which means the statement cannot be printed. So let me make a hand-written one.”
Journalists and cabinet ministers waited for more than an hour before they could get the press release on the cause of the accident.
The delay prompted Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo to make a long-hand draft. Ministers who witnessed the confusion included Mushowe, his deputy Andrew Langa, and Chombo’s deputy Chief Fortune Charumbira.
Kaseke tried to write his own statement before Chombo intervened.
However, Chombo was unable to complete it because the pen he was using was not working properly.
After Mushowe started reading Chombo’s draft, RMS area manager Stanley Murenje produced a typed statement.
Meanwhile, MDC secretary for Transport Silas Mangono said the accident proved that trains in Zimbabwe had become a “death trap”.