NRZ to cash in on current drought

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Acting General Manager Lewis Mukwada addressing disgruntled NRZ employees at the Main Station in Bulawayo last week

NATIONAL Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) says it is planning to cash in on the current drought and pay off its outstanding salaries by transporting food aid sourced by the government and non-governmental organisations.

BY BENSON DUBE

Workers at the ailing parastatal have gone for 10 months without pay.

Acting General Manager Lewis Mukwada addressing disgruntled NRZ employees at the Main Station in Bulawayo last week
Acting General Manager Lewis Mukwada addresses disgruntled NRZ employees at the Main Station in Bulawayo last week

Acting general manager Lewis Mukwada last week held talks with the Grain Marketing Board in a bid to secure a transport tender for the food aid.

Mukwada said the sale of wagons was not enough to meet the employees’ salaries, adding the parastatal was now directly competing for jobs with road transport operators.

Addressing disgruntled NRZ employees, Mukwada said with the current drought he hoped that the parastatals would win a tender from GMB to transport maize around the country to raise money for salaries.

“We have been talking to GMB that it gives us the tender to transport maize around the country during the drought period and we hope our proposal will be accepted,” he said.

“Maybe we may improve our payment system. We have been selling some wagons so that we may pay employees’ salaries, but the wagons are scrapes and cannot make the needed mounts. We are only repairing the better wagons.”

However, workers booed Mukwada saying they now wanted to be addressed by Transport minister Obert Mpofu as he had failed to solve the problem bedevilling NRZ.

“We no longer trust you GM with your management. We now want the Minister of Transport to come and explain to us. You have failed,” shouted a disgruntled employee.