NRZ boss fired, blasts minister over ‘bombshell’

Staff Reporter

Transport minister Joram Gumbo

AXED NRZ board chair, Alvord Mabhena, has said he does not know why he was fired last week.

This is despite the crippled parastatal being saddled with a $140 million debt and failing to pay workers for more than a year.

Transport minister, Jorum Gumbo, terminated Mabhena’s contract last Thursday with immediate effect.

Mabhena had been at the helm over the past 17 months with his contract set to expire in 2017.

"I received a letter from the minister out of the blue informing me that my services have been terminated with immediate effect.

“It's not clear why they have decided to do so,” he said.

New ministers traditionally change management boards at state enterprises to bring in their own people.

The practice was not helpful, Mabhena opined.

“I'm disappointed because of these stop-start things. Naturally, I have been working with a passion and putting a lot of effort in trying to revive the NRZ.

“I worked hard not only to serve the NRZ, but the nation."

Mabhena claimed that the minister had not expressed any concerns about his performance when they met in September.

"I met him on two occasions and he didn't mention anything along those lines.

“He (Gumbo) actually commended the board for doing well and we discussed the way forward on reviving the NRZ and future programmes before the bombshell was dropped on Friday.”

The NRZ’s latest financial reports for the year 2013 showed a loss of $49 million.

Workers are owed $68 million in salaries going back 13 months.

Union leaders recently appeared before parliament to demand the dismissal of the parastatal’s management.


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