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Unions Back Minister Gumbo on Controversial Search for NRZ GM

FILE: National Railways of Zimbabwe workers stage protests over wage delays in Zimbabwe's second largest city, Bulawayo.

National Railways of Zimbabwe trade unions have come out in support of the new transport minister, Joram Gumbo, who has ordered the parastatal’s board to re-advertise the post of general manager despite having shortlisted a candidate.

The board, led by former NRZ general manager, Alvord Mabhena, set itself on a collision course with the minister after announcing earlier in the year that five candidates currently living in the diaspora had been shortlisted for the position.

The workers want the board to tap into local talent.

Mabhena and Gumbo were not available for comment.

However, Mabhena told the state-run weekly, Sunday News that the issue was merely administrative.

He said: “The main problem we have is that we submitted the papers to former Transport Minister, Obert Mpofu. It is either a processs be facilitated so that he receives those papers or resubmit them."

However, Gumbo last week told The Financial Gazette that

he was not privy to the documents being refered to by Mabhena.

“I am not aware (that the board had shortlisted five candidates) but what I know is that there is no general manager at and I have instructed them to stop appointing anybody until I give the instructions. I am going to tell them to advertise that post. If they told you that, well then it’s something I am not aware of.”

A few moths ago reports emerged that five of the shot-listed candidates were based in the Diaspora, much to the chargrin of local-based applicants some who are even saying they want the successful applicant to be from Bulawayo or the Southern region of the country.

Studio 7 reached Kamurai Moyo, president of the Amalgmated Railwaymen Worker’s Union, who said NRZ managament did not consult them in the selection despite them being stakeholders.

He said: "It is a pity that the issue of the hunt for a general manager has been kept as a secret from both management and the ministry."

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