Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Oliver Kazunga

NA­TIONAL Rail­ways of Zim­babwe (NRZ) board chair­man Mr Larry Mavima says heads will roll at the rail­ways firm should the foren­sic au­dit re­port re­veal any acts of mal­ad­min­is­tra­tion and im­pro­pri­ety by man­age­ment and staff.

The ail­ing paras­tatal is due to re­lease a foren­sic au­dit this month de­tail­ing how the firm has been op­er­at­ing in the last few years so as to ex­pose loop­holes and in­ci­dents of mis­man­age­ment.

Mr Mavima said the foren­sic re­port was sup­posed to be re­leased last week but has been post­poned by about three weeks to give the in­de­pen­dent au­di­tor car­ry­ing out the ex­er­cise enough time to com­pile a com­pre­hen­sive re­port.

“The NRZ foren­sic au­dit re­port is now be­ing com­piled which we hope will be given to the Au­di­tor­Gen­eral’s of­fice by an in­de­pen­dent au­di­tor in the next two or three weeks be­fore it is availed to us.

“It is a bit pre­ma­ture to com­ment on the re­port and we will only be able to do so when we get it. For now the main thing that we can say is that we will en­force what­ever the rec­om­men­da­tions will come out of the au­dit re­port,” he said.

“And if any­one is in­volved in any acts of prej­u­dice, he or she will have to face the mu­sic.”

The NRZ foren­sic au­dit seeks to de­ter­mine if there are any leak­ages in the NRZ pro­cure­ment sys­tem, how rev­enue is be­ing col­lected from the firm’s es­tates and prop­er­ties as well as de­ter­min­ing the paras­tatal’s hu­man re­sources and staffing with par­tic­u­lar em­pha­sis on ghost work­ers.

In 2014, the Au­di­tor Gen­eral’s re­port for NRZ ac­counts showed that the paras­tatal’s freight unit was gen­er­at­ing an­nual rev­enue of $91,2 mil­lion, but in­cur­ring ex­pen­di­ture of $103 mil­lion.

The pas­sen­ger unit had an­nual rev­enue amount­ing to $3,2 mil­lion, with costs over three times more at $10,9 mil­lion.

As part of the turn­around strat­egy, the Gov­ern­ment early this month com­mis­sioned 31 new state-of-the-art wag­ons pro­cured from China Rail­way Rolling Stock Com­pany at a cost of $3 mil­lion.

In the re­cent past, the paras­tatal has faced op­er­a­tional chal­lenges as its ca­pac­ity de­clined sig­nif­i­cantly, hence the ur­gent need for re­cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion

NRZ re­quires $400 mil­lion in the short to medium term for re­cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion.

The demise of NRZ in the last few years has crip­pled the vi­a­bil­ity of sev­eral down­stream firms across the coun­try. — @okazunga

Mr Larry Mavima

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