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Mnangagwa ally resigns as NRZ board chairman

by Staff reporter
18 Sep 2018 at 06:34hrs | Views
NATIONAL Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) board chair, Larry Mavima, has resigned as the parastatal's chairman following his recent swearing in as Senator for Shurugwi-Zvishavane and appointment as Minister of State for Midlands province. He became board chair in March 2016, replacing Engineer Alvord Mabhena who was relieved of his duties in November 2015.

Minister Mavima said in line with the Constitution of Zimbabwe, he had voluntarily resigned upon being sworn in as a Senator.

"I have voluntarily resigned as board chair of the National Railways of Zimbabwe. The law actually prohibits any members in the executive to hold directorship in State-owned companies so I have since resigned upon being sworn in as a Senator for Shurugwi-Zvishavane," he said in an interview.

"I have actually handed over my responsibilities at NRZ to my deputy chairman Brigadier General William Dube until a new chairman is appointed by the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development (Biggie Matiza)."

During his tenure at the helm of NRZ, Minister Mavima said the board and management did a lot of work to turnaround the strategic entity, which is about to reach financial closure for the $400 million recapitalisation deal.

Last year, NRZ and the Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG)/Transnet entered into a $400 million deal to fund the parastatal's rehabilitation project, which involves renewal of plant, equipment, rolling stock, track signalling and telecommunications infrastructure as well as information technology systems.

"We have done a lot of work in respect of recapitalisation of NRZ of which he (Brig Gen Dube) was part of. I would urge him to continue with the process that we started, which has yielded significant results for NRZ and to see that financial closure is achieved as soon as possible in as far as recapitalisation is concerned," said Minister Mavima.

The strategic entity, which requires about $1,9 billion in the long-term to fully recapitalise its operations, took delivery of railway equipment in February on lease terms under an interim arrangement with DIDG/Transnet while it awaits financial closure to the $400 million recapitalisation project. Leased equipment under the interim solution comprises locomotives, wagons and passenger coaches.

The equipment is meant to boost the NRZ's capacity to move freight which had dropped drastically as result of obsolete equipment. During its glory days in the 1990s, NRZ was moving 18 million tonnes of freight annually but the figure nose-dived to 3,1 million tonnes in 2017. In the first quarter of the year, the parastatal surpassed its revenue target of $18 million for the period by five percent on the back of the trust NRZ's customers continue to build in the company.

Minister Mavima said his new office would work with various opportunities that exist in the mineral, agricultural, and commercial sectors to position the Midlands as the industrial power hub of Zimbabwe.

Source - chronicle