SACU probes NRZ GM over fuel coupons

Chris Mahove

The Special Anti-Corruption Unit (SACU) in the Office of the President and Cabinet has reportedly instituted investigations on National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) General Manager, Respina Chinyanduko over allegations she un-procedurally dished out fuel coupons to senior managers over the heroes holiday.

Sources at the struggling parastatal told Review & Mail that the embattled Chinyanduko had sourced the coupons from Redan Petroleum in an apparent bid to buy the support of the senior personnel as she battles corruption charges which are under investigation by a committee set up by the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development.

The committee was set up after some fired NRZ workers wrote to the Minister claiming they had been unfairly dismissed for exposing corruption within the NRZ board, which they claimed was masterminded by Chinyanduko.

“We heard that SACU is now carrying out investigations as well. All doesn’t seem well for her now she was summoned to the transport Ministers office yesterday and questioned about the fuel coupons she un-procedurally gave senior management when there is no fuel for trains at NRZ,” said an inside source who could not be identified for fear of retribution.

The source said Zinyanduko had, over the Heroes Holidays, awarded all her officers from Grade D1 to D4 with fuel allowances ranging from 100 to 150 litres.

“This is an effort to harness support and protect her bootlickers. A closer look at this kind of action by Zinyanduko shows that there is clear corrupt intent shown by purchasing fuel coupons from Redan when NRZ pumps across the country are dry. One wonders whether there was any tender floating for this sinister action.

“The allowance seems to have no procedure followed as it comes as an addition to the same officers who receive the Officers’ Fuel Allowance Benefit (OFAB) where again they receive a monetary value of between 100 litres and 300 litres per month,” the source said.

The source alleged that the fuel was allocated even to individuals who had no vehicles, who were only asked to choose whether they wanted diesel or petrol, adding that it was not even clear whether those who got the fuel were all NRZ workers.

“While supervisors in grades C4 and C5 receive 25 litres per week, it is all based on one owning a vehicle. Without one, you are assured of getting your RTGS$11 000. However; the big question is why has everyone else, except officers and above, not been awarded this Respina Heroes Goosebumps allowance? The very people working are the lowly ranked at NRZ and yet Respina’s priority are the bootlickers at officer level and above,”.

The source added that while officers up to Grade D5 got 150 litres each, those in higher F and above grades were getting double that, all at the expense of the Rolling stock that needed the fuel most.

“Ignoring the NRZ core business of moving trains by denying them fuel is just shooting oneself in the foot. And it is clear there is a blind leader at the rail helm who exudes selfish instincts that will surely not revive NRZ but collapse it for good.

Reports, according to the source, had been made several times to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) but the anti-graft body had not taken any action to probe Zinyanduko.

However, ZACC Spokesperson, John Makamure said he was not aware of such reports, but that the anti-graft body was working with the NRZ to establish an Integrity Commission.

“This is an initiative being rolled out to all state-owned enterprises and parastatals, public entities and the private sector. The committees serve as internally driven reforms to prevent corruption,” he said.

We could not immediately get a comment from SACU.

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