HomeBusiness DigestNew board for NRZ

MBCA achieves US$13,4m operating income

Permanent  secretary in  the  Ministry of  Transport, Patterson  Mbiriri  confirmed   the  development, adding  the  new board, whose tenure shall be three years, had already taken charge of the parastatal.

“A  new   board  has  been  appointed  by  the  Minister of Transport, Communication  and  Infrastructure   development  on   a  three-year    tenure and  is already at  work,” said Mbiriri.

The board  is chaired by   Ambassador   Khotso  Dube,  who is deputised by  David  Mangemba.

Other   board  members include retired  brigadier-general David  Chiweza who is  currently   the managing director of Lobels and former acting   managing    director  of   Zupco, Bothwell  Kunaka.  Other members are Phumla Ncube and James  Mutizwa, as well as current NRZ general  manager retired air  commodore Mike Karakadzai.

Mbiriri said the board would see to it that the deplorable rail, signalling and    telecommunication infrastructure is rehabilitated.

This would  see the replacement    of old   equipment such as locomotives, wagons   and   coaches.

Mbiriri, however, did not specify how the rehabilitation process would be financed.

NRZ needs US$2 billion to recapitalise and modernise its operations   in the long term.

In the  2012   budget  the  parastatal was allocated only US$20 million, a paltry figure when compare to what  NRZ needs to recapitalise.

The company is currently operating below 30% capacity owing to financial constraints to fund its recapitalisation programme, which continues to be a missing link in the recovery of the economy.

According to Mbiriri, dilapidated infrastructure, theft and    vandalism continue to hamstring    the   operations of NRZ.

Lately, NRZ has been struggling to pay its workers, numbering about 9 000, resulting in strikes that further disrupted operations.

At its peak NRZ carried 18 million tonnes a year.

The railway firm owns 8 682 wagons of which only 3 427 are operational, transporting over six million tonnes of goods per year.

The parastatal is currently in a parlous state, with its wagons  long beyond their economic lifespan of 40 years.

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