Lunga Tipped to Head NRZ (


FORMER Botswana Railways chief executive officer (CEO), Andrew Lunga, is tipped for appointment as the troubled National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ)’s general manager.

The parastatal has been operating without a substantive head following the death of the then general manager, air commodore Mike Karakadzai, who perished in a car accident in August 2013.

Lewis Mukwada has been acting as the general manager. Before that, he was the director of technical services.

When NRZ advertised for the position of general manager, 40 candidates entered the race, but could not meet the grade.

The board was then forced to cast its net wider, resulting in the short-listing of five candidates; three Zimbabweans in the diaspora and two locals.

Impeccable sources said Lunga could soon be appointed as the new general manager, having impressed the board, chaired by veteran rail man, Alvord Mabena.

This would mean that Mukwada would revert to his previous position.

Lunga previously served as NRZ’s stationmaster at Serule and Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana, before joining Botswana Railways.

At the expiry of his tenure as Botswana Railways CEO, Lunga returned home where he worked for a number of organisations, including Viamex — an international company which does consultancy work for railways in southern Africa.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister, Obert Mpofu (pictured below), could neither deny nor confirm that Lunga will land the post when contacted for comment yesterday.

He, however, said the ministry had been furnished with the NRZ board’s preferred appointee and was yet to revert to the board.

“We have, as government, received the recommendations from the NRZ board on whom they feel is the right candidate for the job,” he said.

“As you are aware, we are now going through the government leg of the whole process, where we have to do our own part before the final green light is given. This is a normal process and once we are done with it, we shall advise the board and the necessary announcement will be made,” added Mpofu.

The NRZ is in dire need of fleet renewal, with most of its wagons being more than 40 years old and having gone beyond their lifespan.

The parastatal moved 3,6 million tonnes of goods in 2013, against a target of six million tonnes.

In 1998, the NRZ moved 18 million tonnes.

A funding proposal prepared by Mukwadi last year showed that the company was seeking in excess of US$2 billion to fully recapitalise.