NRZ GM denies corruption

The major problem facing state enterprises is lack of funds, not corruption, insists the General Manager of the National Railways.

Retired Air Commodore Mike Karakadzai.
Retired Air Commodore Mike Karakadzai.

“Our problem is not corruption as some would want us to believe. We have tried our best to keep these institutions alive but there is just no money,” said Retired Air Commodore Mike Karakadzai at the signing ceremony of a $2 million Public-Private Partnership between NRZ and local fuel retailer Sakunda Petroleum.

The deal will see the refurbishment of fuel wagons. The GM said the funds would help move billions of litres of fuel to the southern parts of the country. “After the pipeline, rail is the cheapest mode of transporting fuel and we must make every effort to ensure we utilize the infrastructure at our disposal,” Karakadzai said.

The near death of rail transport has put pressure on the roads, with most highways in a dilapidated state – most of them having gone beyond their 20-year lifespan three times over.

Officials from ZINARA who requested anonymity said the government had been milking funds from toll gates.

“We are making enough money to maintain considerable parts of our highways, but as you know our parent ministry is almost always broke. They come to us with a begging bowl or just issue an order that we surrender whatever we have at the end of the month,” the source said.

The Zimbabwean has noticed some activity along the Harare-Mutare highway with reports suggesting the road agency is on the verge of signing agreement with a foreign partner for the refurbishment of the 300 km stretch.

“Something is going to happen but we cannot give details at the moment.

What is needed is for NRZ to start working to alleviate pressure on the roads and reduce these haulage trucks killing our network,” the official added.

Economic analysts have blamed nepotism and corruption coupled with the appointment of incompetent former soldiers to run state enterprises, who have caused these formerly profitable state enterprises to be run into the ground.

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