By ZBC Reporter
GOVERNMENT, which is the major shareholder in the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), says there is room for the parastatal to come out of the current viability challenges.
The Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) for 2020 this Friday, amid optimism that the parastatal will soon be back on its feet after managing to drastically reduce its annual loss by 621 percent.
Representing government at the AGM, the Secretary for State Enterprises Reform, Corporate Governance and Procurement, Mr Willard Manungo and the Secretary in the Office of Vice President Retired General Dr Constatino Chiwenga Major General, Retired Major General Godfrey Chanakira, expressed optimism that the struggling state entity gains traction under the National Devlopment Strategy 1.
“It’s impressive to note positive developments in terms of reducing losses. It gives stakeholders hope that there is an opportunity to awaken this giant corporate. The AGM report and the financial statements presented indicated that if corporate governance is upheld, NRZ can thrive. This then motivates efforts of capacitating it,” they said.
NRZ board chairperson, Advocate Martin Dinha said if shareholders avail resources, the railway giant will lower transportation costs for the nation and the entire SADC region.
“We are in good shape and poised for good times. The only thing that is holding us down is the legacy debt. Having our legacy debt absorbed by government will give us a fresh start,” he said.
Despite a 111 percent increase in passenger transportation during the year under review, NRZ was not spared from the impact of COVID-19 as it recorded a 17 percent decrease in freight tonnage it transported.