Embattled Zambia Railways managing director Professor Clive Chirwa has been retired in national interest and Dr Muyenga Atanga who was Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Transport has been confirmed as the new managing director.
But Prof Chirwa can not leave the country as his passport is still being held by the government although investigations have cleared him of any wrong doing while the board was found wanting.
His retirement means that he will be paid his benefits in full.
Prof Chirwa was initially suspended by the Mark Chona board on allegation of mismanagement and insubordination, but he ignored the suspension which led to a management impasse with the board appealing to President Sata to act.
However when revelations of board “insatiable” desire for allowances emerged, the board was also suspended by government and investigation instituted but before the investigation were completed a political decision was taken to retire Prof Chirwa and bring in an insider.
Dr Atanga who is husband to PF deputy secretary general is already acting and is to be formally confirmed.
When contacted yesterday Dr Atanga who was out of the country said he was not aware of the development and he could not comment.
Prof Chirwa is believed to have crossed paths with friends of the system whom he was denying businesses by letting the rail company transport most of the goods to foreign destinations.
The former MD was suspended after the disbanded board led by Mark Chona had levelled a lot of corruption allegations against him including the fact he had intended to single handedly transfer the railway headquarters to Lusaka from Kabwe.
Corruption allegations against the embattled MD emerged after he exposed that some corrupt board members were demanding up to K500 million in sitting allowances which he rejected.
Company’s chief Finance officer Regina Mwale was earlier sent on forced leave by the defunct board for refusing to disburse the money to the board members.
It was further reported that controversy had arisen over the $120 million Eurobond money from government which was deposited in Zanaco because arrangements were being made to have the money go to Finance Bank an arrangement which Professor Clive Chirwa was not aware of.
Prof Chirwa had confirmed to the Daily Nation that some board members had demanded huge amounts of money in just two months for doing nothing.
Dr Atanga was originally asked to stand in while both the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) and Auditor General conducted investigations into issues of mismanagement at the rail company by Prof Chirwa and according to reports, Prof Chirwa was vindicated while the board was found wanting in many respects.