Top military officers to run NRZ

BULAWAYO - Workers at the National Railways of Zimbabwe, NRZ, have complained about what they call the militarisation of the parastatal which is the largest employer after government. According to railway union officials and workers, the government has been deploying retired army officers and ind

ependence war veterans to run the parastatal since the beginning of the year. The officials who spoke on condition that they were not identified, told us that most of the managerial positions at the parastatal have been taken over by the soldiers and war veterans. The workers complained that the army officers have no experience in running such a big institution like the Railways.
“They are simply there as eyes and ears of the government and Zanu (PF). We are no longer free to discuss social issues because when you turn to your left you see an army officer. If you turn to your right, there is a war veteran watching you,” said a female security officer.
The majority of the security guards at the Railways are now former guerillas loyal to the ruling party Zanu (PF). One manager said government started deploying army officers after it accused some of the managers of being sympathetic to the opposition MDC party.
Some of the senior MDC leaders in both factions were leaders of the railways union. The two vice-presidents of both factions of the MDC, Thokozani Khuphe of the Tsvangirai faction and Gibson Sibanda of the Mutambara faction were senior officials of the railways union and the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions.
The new railways general manager and chairman of the board of directors Douglas Nyikayaramba are both retired army officers. Nyikayaramba is former chairman of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. In 1989 he was involved in a legal row with the family of Captain Edwin Bundani Nleya who was murdered in mysterious circumstances after he accused senior Zimbabwe National Army commanders in Mozambique of being involved in a rhino horn smuggling racket. Soon after he made the allegations, Nleya disappeared while on duty and his decomposed body was found on a hillside in Hwange town. – ZimOnline

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