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Published: March 13, 2009
Bulawayo (ZimEye) – A looting scandal has been unearthed at the Zanu-PF controlled National Railways of Zimbabwe where bosses have acquired top-of-the-range vehicles valued at over US$1 million at a time when workers are going for months without salaries and the state of trains continue dilapidating.
Workers at the NRZ revealed that the parastatal’s management led by Retired Air Commodore Mike Karakadzai were looting the company resources so that when the new government appoints a new management team, they will walk away with properties.
Sources said Karakadzai who is a staunch Zanu-PF supporter acquired a latest model of the Toyota Landcruiser valued at US$250 000 and five Toyota Prados for US$100 000 each.
The vehicles are parked at the company headquarters in Bulawayo and are awaiting to be given to directors.
The acquisition of the vehicles has sparked protests at the NRZ where the workers committee chairman Albert Mahlangu launched a scathing attack on Karakadzai and his cronies.
Mahlangu bemoaned the dilapidated state of trains and the non-payment of workers since August last year.
He said Karakadzai was insensitive because he put luxury ahead of essentials.
Karakadzai has also acquired state-of-the art Samsung LCD television, sofas, a laptop among other expensive items for his office in the 12th Floor of the 22-storey NRZ building.
His looting also include the acquisition state-of-the-art furniture for his double storey house in Suburbs where he lives adjacent to his directors who have also bought new furniture for their houses.
Pressed to respond to the looting allegations, Karakadzai admitted that he bought the cars and furniture but was quick to defend: “The cars and the furniture were bought to replace the dilapidated fleet. There is nothing sinister about it.”
Meanwhile, over 1 000 workers on Thursday thronged Karakadzai’s office demanding payment or confiscate the new vehicles and furniture.
The workers have been promised to be paid Friday (ZimEye, Zimbabwe)