PF govnt should have told Chirwa that his demands were unsustainable – Magande

Ex-Minister of Finance Ngandu Magande says at the point of negotiating authorities should have told Prof. Clive Chirwa that his demands could not be sustained in Zambia.

Reacting to the crisis that has rocked Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL), Magande who now heads the opposition National Movement for Progress (NMP) said the procedure was also not followed in engaging Pro. Chirwa. He  said the Board of Directors could have been appointed then it is the Board that should have hired a Chief Executive Officer.

Magande said Prof. Chirwa could have also been made aware of the situation adding that from his demands it is like he could not understand the economic status of the country in general and ZRL in particular. He said there was no way one would demand to be paid such huge sums of money from a limping firm and developing economy.

Prof. Chirwa demands was that he gets 25 percent shares at the end of his five year contract and the board says was asking for K249 million per month as salary. His accommodation was costing K72 million per month which he says is nothing for a Chief Executive Officer of his caliber. Last night, he disclosed that the rentals have been reduced to K38 million per month.

And Ex-Minister of Finance under Rupiah Banda’s Administration Situmbeko Musokotwane has charged that Pro. Chirwa has no corporate skills and qualifications to run a firm of ZRL size. He said Prof. Chirwa was self-centred and not a team player.

“Everything as you heard is ‘I’ and not ‘we’,” said Musokotwane during a media briefing in Lusaka today.

Musokotwane also said the government rushed to dissolve the board without investigating the issues raised. He said the whole event showed that Prof. Chirwa was not accountable to the board.

Prof. Chirwa also confirmed during an interview Sunday night on ZNBC that he had never run a firm of ZRL size.