Panic resignations follow NRZ audit
SOME of the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) management staff have reportedly tendered their resignations in panic ahead of the imminent forensic audit report due in the next few weeks.
The forensic audit is expected to reflect what has been going on at NRZ in the past five years in terms of the parastatal’s procurement system, how revenue is being collected from the firm’s estates and properties as well as determining the firm’s human resources and staffing.
Business Chronicle is reliably informed that some managers at the railways firm have in the past few months tendered their resignations raising speculation that this might have been triggered by the forensic audit being carried out at the ailing parastatal.
“One of the departments that have been affected by the resignations is the human resources department. It is suspected that the resignations have been triggered by the forensic audit that is currently being instituted,” said a source within NRZ.
The general manager Engineer Lewis Mukwada could not be reached for comment as his phone was not reachable.
However, the parastatal’s board chairman Mr Larry Mavima, who is on record as saying heads would roll at NRZ should the forensic audit report show any acts of maladministration and impropriety, yesterday said those found to have fallen foul of the law would be prosecuted.
“It is quite possible that some of our managers might have tendered their resignations following the announcement of a forensic audit. If there is any element of criminality or fraudulent activity people still have to carry their own crosses.
“Even if people resign trying to run away from the audit report that does not mean they’re absolved from criminality or fraudulent activities. The law will still follow them wherever they are,” he said.
Mr Mavima said the forensic audit was not a witchhunt. “I must hasten to say this forensic audit isn’t a witch hunt but we’re trying to correct things to turnaround NRZ.”
The NRZ forensic audit, which was authorised by the Government, began in August this year and was one of the key priority areas towards turning around the parastatal by Mr Mavima, who was appointed in March.
“I’m not aware of the junior managers who have tendered their resignations. But as for senior management, our finance director (Mr Frank Bhule) has tendered his resignation because he is going on early retirement after serving NRZ for 37 years. He is now serving a three months’ notice.
“We wish him well in his new endeavours as he leaves the railways; and we also thank him for the service he has rendered the railways,” Mr Mavima said. NRZ has since advertised for the post of finance director. The ailing parastatal is saddled with about $144 million legacy debt with the workers owed $80 million.
Mr Partson Mbiriri