Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Zambia Railways saga:The Board now responds accusing Professor Chirwa of gross mismanagement


Zambia Railways Board of Directors Chairperson Mark Chona (centre) shares a light moment with Deputy Board of Directors Chairperson Professor Oliva Saasa (left) and Zambia Railways Managing Director Professor Clive Chirwa
Zambia Railways Board of Directors Chairperson Mark Chona (centre) shares a light moment with Deputy Board of Directors Chairperson Professor Oliva Saasa (left) and Zambia Railways Managing Director Professor Clive Chirwa

The Zambia Railways saga has deepened with five board members who are not serving in government now accusing Chief Executive Officer Clive Chirwa of demanding to be paid US$560,000 as his annual salary (or K248 million per month) which the Board says it rejected.

The five, who are not serving in Government, are Mark Chona, the chairperson, and members Geoffrey Mulenga, Irene Mbewe and Jonam Mwansa issued a statement last evening responding to an exposé by Lusaka Times of the ongoing wrangles at Zambia Railways.

The Board members also denied a statement from Transport Minster Christopher Yaluma that they are receiving about K7, 000 per sitting.

They insist that the board members are paid K2, 600 as sitting allowances.

ZRL Board vice-chairperson Oliver Saasa, who issued the statement on behalf of his colleagues, accused Professor Chirwa of gross mismanagement and serious breaches of corporate governance ethos.

Professor Saasa said Professor Chirwa has been making decisions without the approval and involvement of the Board, a practice he said was against corporate decision-making.

[pullquote]“Prof Chirwa embarrassed the Board when he announced that he would invest the US$120 million Eurobond funds to turn around the company without a feasibility study which he said was a waste of money,” Prof Saasa said.[/pullquote]

“Prof Chirwa embarrassed the Board when he announced that he would invest the US$120 million Eurobond funds to turn around the company without a feasibility study which he said was a waste of money,” Prof Saasa said.

“As a result of this development, the Board resolved that Clive Chirwa should not be allowed to throw money to major restructuring projects until management has submitted to the Board for approval clearly-argued and properly sequenced activities,” Prof Saasa said.

“The Board has received insults from him for maintaining this position and, in one of his letters to the chairperson of the Board, he stated that he is at a different level of ‘intellectuality’ to be wasting his time with what he describes as a useless Board that is doing nothing and delays the implementation of ‘his’ grand vision.”

Prof Saasa said Prof Chirwa’s differences with the Board started when it rejected his demand for $560,000 annual salary (or K248 million per month) and 25 per cent shares in ZRL at the end of his five-year contract.

This is in addition to K2.6 billion annual bonus and six free tickets per annum for his wife to UK/Europe which the Board and the Government considered obscene.

He said Prof Chirwa even attempted to shift the company’s headquarters from Kabwe to Lusaka which the Board rejected because the move could only be effected with the Government’s approval and the Board’s endorsement.

He said Prof Chirwa had refused to shift to Kabwe and was living at Fallsway luxury apartments and the company was paying K72 million as monthly rentals contrary to the Board’s directive.

He said that when the company received the $120 million from the Eurobond funds, the money was deposited in Zanaco account yielding four per cent interest when Finance Bank was offering between seven to 12.5 per cent interest depending on the period.

He said that Prof Chirwa was self-centred and did not recognise the Board and had refused to facilitate the development of a strategic plan for ZRL preferring to use his document he developed before the Board was appointed.

[pullquote]“Any procurement that ZRL management may be undertaking now are outside the clearance or guidance of the Board and if there are irregularities they are completely outside the knowledge, let alone sanctioning of the Board,” he said.[/pullquote]

Prof Saasa said one issue that bordered on corruption was Prof Chirwa’s attempt to use his own company, Clavel Incorporated, to train all senior management staff at the company without declaring interest.

He was advised that the Board would not allow single-sourcing as it was against the Government’s procurement regulations and that President Michael Sata had already made a clear position on the matter and was briefed on current court cases regarding anomalous procurement practices.

Prof Saasa said legal opinion received by the Board suggested that the singular act bordered on criminality in a country that boasted of zero-tolerance to corruption.

“As CEO, Prof Chirwa also wanted to chair the tender committee and when the Board advised him that the move was against good corporate governance, he refused to accept resulting in tension with some Board members. In the meantime, he had advertised big procurement jobs for supply of equipment, including initiating the recruitment of senior management staff before the Board’s approval,” he said.

“Any procurement that ZRL management may be undertaking now are outside the clearance or guidance of the Board and if there are irregularities they are completely outside the knowledge, let alone sanctioning of the Board,” he said.

On accusation that the Board suspended the finance manager because she refused to pay Board members huge allowances, Prof Saasa said there were financial irregularities and the office of the Auditor General had been requested to carry out a forensic audit.

Board Chairman Mark Chona is Sunday afternoon scheduled to hold a news conference at the Hotel Intercontinental over the same matter.


    • this is very interesting now, in my own opinion the board may have a point, lets hear what the interlectual manace has to say now, he defended himself before he was even acused, huts off MARK CHONA

    • My take on this is give Prof Chirwa a chance. If I were the appointing authority I would let Prof Chirwa run as CEO and Chairman of the Board. Zambia does not need same old tactics and procedures that have left the country poverty stricken after holding such good promise at Independence. We need change in the way we do things and understanding is at different level. People criticized 90 days challenge but PF have done more in one and half years than any one and half years in the last thirty years.

    • How childish these Zambian professors can be.Can they sit down and resolve these simple issues?Somehow i always found proffessor Chirwa a fraud.

    • The question of US$560, 000 a year. Its not so much about how much Prof. Chirwa is paid but what happens to ZRL and Zambia. The reason we are underdeveloped is the fact that our policies have been wrong and we have repeated the policies and same managers over and over again. Creating new districts, initiating Link Zambia 8000 and Pave Zambia 2000 has introduced a new paradigm and requires new thinking especially concerning tender procedures. I for one know that if we follow the same tender procedures as before the good intentions of PF will yield little at the end of 5 years. I hope Honorable Chishimba Kambwili reads this because I appreciate the urgency he attaches to development.

    • ZR is in intensive care and the board wants the CEO’s every decision to be approved by it. Are they going to be meeting every month. Redtape is what has destroyed our parastatals. Policies and guidelines specifically designed for ZR need to be drawn up to allow the CEO to work at speeed.

    • I think this is a circus if these leaks are anything to go by. My opinion is that the truth is somewhere in the middle of what Chirwa is saying and the board are saying

      It appears from onset most of those board members are resistant to hi of these utterances anything to go by

      Either way dissolve the board, and replace Chirwa they both have no credence to the masses
      Terrible reading


    • Here is what I have observed, let us find out which others companies do these chaps serve on.? I think Clive has seen how corrupt they are hence doing his own thing, Mark Chona has been around and has he done for the country.? Disolve the board let Clive work and if anything goes wrong then he must come and take the blame. Saasa is being vague on why the lady was forced to go on leave which makes me think Saasa has something up his sleeve

    • TENDER PROCESS. Is it fair to take 3 months figuring out who should do the job of building a school or clinic in a country so under developed when the money to build is available? Every year National Council for Construction registers companies and issues them with a certificate for various categories and grades to carry out construction works through out Zambia, At some point in the tender process the same companies have to be subjected to scrutiny sometimes at a remote district council somewhere to ascertain their capacity to construct a pit latrine or a mothers shelter at some clinic. There surely aught to be a quicker way of doing things in our tender procedures especially infrastructure development

    • Shocking that 5 Board members would go to press and try and embarrass their CEO. Prof. Chirwa should be respected and must be allowed to transform ZRL in the speed and way he and HE MCS envisioned. This calls for a behind closed doors meeting at State House with the whole board to iron issues for the betterment of the nation.

    • I couldn’t agree more. Removing him is the best move. Any CEO who refuses to conduct a feasiblity study is a waste of money and has no substance. He says he wants to bring underground trains to lusaka,like the way it is in LOndon,he thinks it will succeed but London has more citizens than Zambia, but the mayor of London doesn’t move in a motorcade like the president of Zambia. That’s one reason underground trains can’t work in zambia. removing him will be better than removing the whole board. He said one or two boared members but the whole board practically says his lying

    • Ba Chirwa, this mentality of thinking that Zambians are styupidi and corrupt has made many people loose jobs. Its sad Chirwa becomes another destitute.

  1. And these are professors?? Who’s saying the truth here?? Have we failed to run ZR or do we need to go and import a Muzungu to come and sort out this mess for us???

    • Read the story instead of rushing to comment! He has addressed that…what where you doing in Sch when you were being taught to read and comprehend?

    • Some of you have nothing to contribute and as such shouldn’t blog. Why do you have to mention a white wife? Inferiority complexes? Keep them to yourself because some of us have moved past mental colonisation and we are free birds

  2. The issue is now being politicized by the board, why can’t they call for a meeting and sort out these issues other than rushing to the media to release attacking and accusing statements. When will Zambia ever have professionals who act professionally? This is very embarrassing for these acclaimed professors accusing each other of misconduct in the media. How are they different political cadres who are ever busy fighting in the media. What really happened to dialogue amongst intellectuals really? Shame on these people!

    • I don’t think it is the board if you consider that it was Clive’s ranting, about the board demanding so much for doing nothing, that made the LT last week and while everybody rallied on Clive’s side, I questioned how a CEO could say that without implying that he, too, is doing nothing. He is supposed to do the work and present to the board for consideration and approval. That’s why he gets paid and they get sitting allowances. For this current story, it is rediculou for Clive to “milk” ZRL of such colossal sums in pay and extravagant free flights to the UK for his family. Clive has lead us to believe that he has renounced his British Citizenship in which case why would he be demanding paid for flights for his family to the UK? Cracks are definitely opening here! The board is right…

  3. On a positive side we should all be happy that management and the board ain’t colluding unlike in many other parastatals they are Infact checking themselves which is a good corporate practice. All they need now is for all of them to settle down in their positions and start to follow laid down ground rules and regulation of ZRL( assuming there are any)

    • I agree 100% . Those were my thoughts. It is proof of a strong management and a strong board and this needs to be commended. They just now need to sit down and resolve their differences and work together and I pray that neither Chirwa nor the board get fired. Let Government order them to resolve their differences and work together. Looks like they are giving each other strong check and balances and I like this and fully endorse this

    • I couldn’t agree more gents. As a stakeholder in ZRL, am loving this. We get to know what is going on which we would never have known.

    • You guys management is not politics. Its good to have a check on the ruling party but in management the board and the ceo should always be on the same page

    • Absolutely correct. All what is needed is the right tact to get theses guys to move from the politicking phase to working phase once they are done sizing each other up.

  4. you are fighting over our money. Yaba,so when do you even expect us to develop with you so called intellectuals fighting over money when you have not even done anything in the good interest of ZR but in the good of your tuma bellys.Get lost

  5. Typical of Zambians; one minute Chirwa is praised to high heaven as a saviour of ZRL. The very next minute Chirwa is strung up there and condemned by the very bloggers that were in praise of him a minute ago!

  6. he stated that he is at a different level of ‘intellectuality’ to be wasting his time “with what he describes as a useless Board that is doing nothing and delays the implementation of ‘his’ grand vision”

    This sounds like a war between Disporaian and Locals and I have a feeling Prof Chirwa with that statement might have just spoiled it for Zambians in Diaspora if he really wrote this. We have a interesting week.

    Famous last words ” Am in Full Control of the Happenings at Zambia Railways-Yaluma”, Yaluma must be uttering the F words and Sh words right now

    • now the minister must stop this rot. this mudslinging is unneccessary it will leave everybody involved in this, including the minister, dirt and unworth of leadership.

  7. Why all these intellectual going to the media and accuse each other? Where is the president and minister of transport? Mr chirwa is a presidential appointee who must consult his boss about what theses guys are doing. All of them are blaming each other not on work really but money and who is the boss. Who is going to pay for press conference and does it solve problems when you speak to the media? You are not politicians but business appointees . Politicians solve issues with public opinion cos its what put them in their jobs business ESP board of directors don’t work in public but in boardrooms. So stop ur washing of dirt failures in public and go back to ur boardroom

  8. Interesting Professor to professor response. When I read the accusation againest the board I didn’t believe it,it was very defensive and I concluded it had a cover and more inform was needed. When I also read prof Chirwa’s proposal on revamping ZR which he presented at GRZ complex, I prayed that thy must give him a good and strong board to guide him or the Euro bond will be wasted. I knw prof chirwa is appointed by the President bt he must humble himself and respect the board and provide proffesional advise.

  9. I’d go for the board. It’s a fact that there is tension between them and prof Chirwa. Because he was hand picked by the president he thinks he is automatically above the board of directors, chain of command is everything. The man should swallow his pride.

    • What swallowing of pride????? He alone was appointed – the buck stops with him!!
      If the board mess up his management of ZR, he alone takes the flak!!! He hasn’t made his demands today, but made them before he left the UK!! He is right to stand his ground!!
      Let him do the work he was appointed for, if not, LETS JUST Accept to be a backward nation, go back to living in caves!!!!!!!!!

  10. Mmm… ” five board members who are not serving in GRZ” food for thought. Looks like somebody want the government to fail. Phd.

  11. I hope the President will resist any pressure to desolve the board or the urge to fire Chirwa because this is exactly what you need at a complex company like ZRL, management and the board ain’t meant to be buddies. In due course they will learn to behave professionally but.

  12. Shameless adults, you should all pack up and go. Dont worst our money. There are hard working Zambians who can do this job, for instance, Mr. Watson Lumbwe at Chambishi Metals. We need serious people to run our affairs not these recycled colleagues. Mr. President, these people are embarrasing you. Fire everyone.

  13. what were the agreed terms & conditions of contract when Clive was being employed? its not true that he will suggest all those terms after being employed already….my lips are tied coz i am a keen follower of both Oliver & Clive!

  14. so bonse imwee bafikala our loan money has confused you!!!!
    politicians can no longer be trusted naimwe bafikala mweba sambilila kaili???

  15. The jackets Mark Chona and Prof Clive Chirwa are wearing are oversize. Could they be expecting to grow bigger after their respective appointments?? Just an observation


    • @The Prince
      You are missing the point. 6 tickets to a specified destination raises questions. If he was appointed as an expatriate (Musungu or otherwise) then fine. But we are lead to believe that he renounced his British citizenship and if that’s the case, why would he demand that for his family? A family holiday to the tune of xxx per year would make more sense than this but even then what Zambian gets such extravagant perks from a parastatal. The tickets should come from his own pay if he wishes to keep his feet in two worlds…

  17. There’s always a difference between a hired CEO and one who applied for a job. It is well known that the president brought in Chirwa from where ever he was. Its also a fact that Chirwa was very confortable where he was and definatly he must have accepted the appointment with attached condition. I remember Chirwa in his first days saying that government had assured him of no interferance and allowed him to use his skills and resources available to turn round ZR. This was before the board was appointed. Now the board is here and wants everything to go the Zambian way; leaving issues pending so that they can have as many sittings as possible. Those approvals they are talking about can take as long as one year but Chirwa is in a hurry to perfom he can’t afford to dance to the tune of those…

  18. Since ZR is now a public company, why doesn’t the cabinet minister/ministry or PS responsible for this sector set the conditions of service since these learned “mambalas” seem to have failed to reason? These demands by both Mr Chirwa and board members, if true, are simply too exorbitant for public company which is still in a “financial coma” to afford!

    When are Zambians going to learn to sacrifice for the good of our nation for once? The US$120 million was not a profit generated by ZR for these corporate gluttons to start demanding such handsome rewards. This is “NKONGOLE” which Zambians will have to pay back. So how do you start asking for such outrageous benefits before the company makes even “1 ngwee” in profits?

    This is simply too depressing to read!!!!

    • The whole prblem begins with the whole Head of State appointing just a CEO who should have been employed by the Board. Being appointed be the President, even I would think am above the board. No wonder the strange behaviour by Prof. Chirwa.

  19. Prof Chirwa is condescending, he thinks his intelligence is above all zambians. Now I understand why mwanawasa didn’t entertain him. Even geniuses have to be controlled and guided, and the board is right to guide Chirwa otherwise this classroom professor will squander our euro bond cash for his useless lab experiments.

    • He is not even a genius. Genius for what? Government should appoint goal oriented engineers and corruption allergic people like Dr. Alvert N Ngandu

    • Dr Alvert Ng’andu! Kalaba I agree with you on thst choice, a local would be cheaper and more pragmatic. Chirwa greatly over rates himself, looking at his CV, its more worthy for alecturing job than that ZRL MD. He would do well to be at CBU or UNZA as a lecturer. Look at the conflict, hw wants to be the procure ment mgr and HR too. Useless professor. A classroom engieet.

    • You’ve not heard about how Alvert Ngandu turned the UNZA SDA as a recruitment centre for jobs in UNZA and gave accomodation to female students he had affairs with? Well, he is a performer but has his own weaknesses!

  20. ZRA is a patient in urgent need of surgery for survival, endless board sittings to approve every minor undertaking is tantamount to medical malpractice. We all how selfish people like Mark Chona are. They would rather be the ones in driving seat benefitting from huge bonuses even with their little technical knowledge of the industry. Professor Chirwa is used to getting thing done producing tangible result that EU and emerging Asian countries can attest to. His plan document for revamping ZR is highly technical and priceless that most board members may not fully understand but frustrate by subjecting it to endless sittings for minor procurement just to get some allowances.Surprisingly nothing has come from prof. Chirwa. Is it a smear campaign to remove Chirwa? Please don’t his…

  21. It was obvious the board will focus more on ‘what’s in it for me’ than actually getting on with the job. Now they can’t lay their grubby paws on the money they start throwing spanners in the works. Their political approach in resolving a management problem is a pointer that these useless incompetents will only derail progress.

  22. Here we go!!!! Typical Zambian backward mentality. There is a huge task to re-approach this long dead railway line. Even revamp does not describe it. this railways needs to be redone. Those old fashioned railway-crossings need to to re-done thru fly-over bridges, just to avoid these many fuel-carrying trucks coliding with trains. Instead of concentrating on that, here we r fighting in the papers about who is eating more than others. Zambians!!!

    • Since Pro China had terms and conditions led for his job presidential appointee, the rest of the board members may have ulterior motives. Hope the appointing authority respond

  23. As far as i am concerned this is a fight against pf government and the poor pipo who need dearly the rail. Actually i saw it coming going by de way i know zambians especially de so called educated. After all some of de board mbers ve bin against pf.

  24. We warned you about UKwa you did not listen..

    We warned you about this so called Professor you did not listen…

    Time will tell

  25. If its true th@ prof Chirwa wants to proceed with this project without a feasibilty study then he shud think twice.there is a lot of money involved th@ might just be is a mandate th@ a feasibility study is carried out wen undertaking such huge developments.on the other hand if the board is truly demanding 4 such then I suggest it gets disolved with imediate effect cause th@ money is not meant to fill and fatten people’s tumies.

    • The feasibility study’s main purpose is to look at options and then select the one option going forward. if you already know what the option is, what is the use of undertaking the feasibility study just for the sake of it and incurring unnecessary costs? With limited resources you must look at ways of optimising capital! That is exactly what Prof Chirwa is trying to do!

    • Kalikeka that’s not what a feasibility study does. You inspect the prospective project and do an assessment of costs and/or alternatives

    • Kalikeka, a feasibility study looks at the viability of an idea with an emphasis on identifying potential problems and attempts to answer one main question: Will the idea work and should you proceed with it? Is it doable?

  26. “Man was born selfish” so the saying goes. The bottom line of differences here is money money money. The board and Chirwa both are at it on the aspect of money interest here and both sides are defending their greedy ego.It eating time.Look where his accommodated. I mean chirwa.The board hosting Press breifing at intercontinental Hotel all those are big expense.Why not brief the press from your office. All just issue a press statement on the subject you want to clear.Your seating allowances as a board you think that’s little cash on a board that consists I gues ten board members.And how many times in a month do you seat. Zambia my beloved country!Ooo this country. They all just up to increasing their already fat pockets.Nothing else

  27. ZRL needs drastic change hence what Prof Chirwa is doing is to undertake drastic measures to ensure real change happens.It can not be business as usual.The CEO does not need permission from the board on everything he does! Unless if you want a cabbage or a puppet for the CEO.These so called board members are only frustrated because he did not consult them during tendering process which excluded their companies.SHAME ON THEM!

  28. Professor Saasa has had a distinguished career outside politics and I would trust his and Mark Chona any day. Professor Chirwa is intelligent but too keen to impress and hence I am sure what has actually transpired is a clash of personalities. Chirwa did not expect to find any intellectual force on the board that could challenge him. He should mature and adjust instead of playing to the gallery. Three year turn around ka, we are watching keenly – #thispipowillnotfinishusoh!!!!#

  29. The problem per zed is you continue with the same kind of people years in years out and knowingly that their are crooks.why voting for the same weneed to change our mindset of free handouts open ly stealing tax payers money.remember life is short you shall be judged on your misdeeds.

  30. Prof Chirwa is at another level from the other prof. Did you know he played key roles if not actually designed the king long bus, Toyota yaris, Airbus 380 wings, a part in all airplanes that fly today among many many achievements. What has prof Saasa achieved? Do you know what kind of payoffs Chirwa gets for his jobs? Think a million pounds PER JOB. The problem I ve seen in Zambia is personal comparison – why is he getting $50,000 per month if I only get $5,000? Kalijo. The man is worth what he is demanding. Do you know that the west will warmly welcome him back on terms 100 times better than we are offering? Appreciate Zambia, please. This man holds the key to some change in our country.

    • There we go again, degrading of local Zambian professionals. What exactly do you mean ‘on another level’? Prof Chirwa may be a good engineer but a bad financial manager…who knows? Whatever the case we want transparency with how these public funds are spent.

    • Prof. Chirwa voluntarily left his well paying job in England in order to serve the people of Zambia. Therefore, he should not demand for salary and allowance pecks that are above what the financial position of the Govt can afford. It’s time for him to tighten his belt, (like we have been doing) for the sake of mother zambia.

    • Totally agree with you, in any case they all may be intelectuals, but true to say Chirwa has superior experience, he knows better, what is interesting is, the board wants to be part of every small decision, then what is the role of the CEO? feasibility study for putting a rail line along side the current livingstone /chingola one for what! I agree its a waste of money! PROBLEM WITH PA ZED TULIJO! all they scheme is how much they should make out of allowances, can we have board members who like the PF is in A HURRY TO SEE DEVELOPEMENT, WE ARE TIRED OF THESE CHAPs (chonas and saasas) SAME NAMES ON BOARDS ALLTHE TIME WITH NOTHING TO SHOW.

  31. why do we continue retaining the same people always in strategic positions,does it mean that there is no new brains to run our companies,let Chirwa work,Mark u ve had enough,i think Mr President must stop appointing old folks to run our tax parasitatals

  32. let Zambia army take over our country,i don’t think politicians are doing us good,soldiers where are you?take over this nation,crooks are busy eating our money,why must these people fight over allowances when our parastatal was liquidated ZRL is a coy of Zambian not just few individuals,We believe in Sata’s leadership but not the people he is appointing

  33. The can of worms has been spilled over the table. There is more to it than what is being reveaded. The true shape and colours of people associated with the PF regime is gradually becoming into focus. Consider this line-up to the game of plunder of national resources: Kambimba, Dr. Matibini, Mutembo Nchito, Fred Mmembe, Silvia Masebo, Musa Mwenye, Mumba Malila, Dr. Mahtani, Catherine Namugala, Major Kachingwe, Namulambe, Daniel Munkombwe, Prof. Chirwa – the list is frightening.

    We wonder how a whole Professor would abandon his UK academic position in engin3ering to join in the scramble for day-light robbery of our tax payers money. Prof. Chirwa could have been fired from his job for non-academic performance. Imagine if he had achieved his ambition to become Republican President!

    • Leave Chirwa alone I know he is in the wrong environment but that is his country, I have no doubt he will deliver!

  34. Let Prof Chirwa get down to work…. Zambia doesn’t need this Corporate governance nonsense, actually we need a dictator as President ! Let him just sack that Board and find a more cooperating Board. Zambia needs that kind of behavior at the moment… we need Chirwa. Zambians just like talking and talking and talking, The Oliver Saasas have been around for decades mis-advising every government that takes power without any tangible results coming forth !

  35. The board want to be involved in everything happening at ZRL so they can claim sitting allowances. You don’t need board approval to buy workers uniforms. They want to duplicate work which the CEO and his staff can do all in an effort to claim sitting allowances. Is it the job of the board to recruit staff? Prof Chirwa’s salary demands are not too high. It just shows that the board members don’t know how CEO’s of Prof Chirwas calibre are renumerated. Typical zambia problem of PHD at its best… Shame on you prof sassa and your fellow board members.

  36. Kalikeka i love this !
    ZRL needs drastic change hence what Prof Chirwa is doing is to undertake drastic measures to ensure real change happens.It can not be business as usual.The CEO does not need permission from the board on everything he does! Unless if you want a cabbage or a puppet for the CEO.These so called board members are only frustrated because he did not consult them during tendering process which excluded their companies.SHAME ON THEM!

    • By drastic change my friend do you mean he deserves those perks and the company can afford to pay such rentals!think again guys theory and practice are different what commercial entity has Chirwa turned around that we can draw a leaf from.The Answer is nothing.So he is experimenting at being CEO.There is no old ways about the board demanding transparency .That happens in businesses all over.

  37. What we are seeing is ” Resistance to Change”. Resistance to change has been documented in many mgt books. People feel threatened by new ideas. They cling to the old tried or tested concepts. But this is what we need to run away from at this stage. We need new ideas. The Prof has new ideas we need to tap into. The old guard, the Saasas and Chonas of this world feel threatened! They’d rather we keep the status quo. And here is the problem.
    It pains these guys the President didn’t pick on them to head the organisation. They will do everything to frustrate Chirwa. They may even kill, someday. Resistance to change. ZRL is in bad shape right now. Its nothing to talk about. Nothing short of new ideas will save it. Our president means well. The world has changed. You can’t see this from…

  38. Just sack that useless Board and let Prof work, i think he is in a hurry and those that can’t share in his vision must step aside with immediate effect !

  39. Sunkutu Hichilema you are spot on !

    They want to duplicate work which the CEO and his staff can do all in an effort to claim sitting allowances. Is it the job of the board to recruit staff?

  40. Mwana Muweme, pipo must read this again; thanks

    Resistance to change has been documented in many mgt books. People feel threatened by new ideas. They cling to the old tried or tested concepts. But this is what we need to run away from at this stage. We need new ideas. The Prof has new ideas we need to tap into. The old guard, the Saasas and Chonas of this world feel threatened! They’d rather we keep the status quo. And here is the problem.

  41. 72 million monthly rentals! This is madness,if Chirwa does not want to stay in Kabwe,let him go back to his part time overbearing job in his country UK,how does one person want absolute control over taxpayers money? The board is very right to check on this conman!

  42. Very disappointing. They are not intellectuals, they are just cowboys…cadre mentality at heart. Can you please deliver as expected of you, otherwise resign..pave way for those who have integrity to bear the touch for our country

  43. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely! By now we should all know that not even a saint can resist this temptation. Both the board and the administrators entrusted to revive our national railway system must realise that they are handling people’s borrowed money in the form of euro bond and therefore must both be subjected to checks and balances, close scrutiny and audit, lest we as well lose the money to selfish desires, hefty remuneration and allowances, before we can achieve the true intended objective.
    We pray that, if these people are not ready for sacrifice and national service that Zambia today really needs, and think we still have room for such luxurious spending of borrowed money, they should resign on moral grounds.
    We need not to play with borrowed money!

  44. This professor still thinks he’s in the UK… His demands are so exorbitant.. That’s not for Zambia, a least developing country…

  45. Boards are only there to fullfill the scriptures that there shall be a board, But they are of very little value if any. I think monopolistic companies can run without a board since they have no competitors as long as a good management is in place. Let chirwa do his job.

  46. Does Chirwa have any management experience? Does the board have a clear MOU? In most firms the board caps a CEO’s spending above which he has to seek board approval. In any case a professor should know about feasibility studies.

  47. Prof Chirwa used services of the likes of Network Rail in the UK. He has seen Virgin Trains, southeast trains, Lodon underground, Glasgow underground, DRL, southwestern; and says, why can’t zambia have train systems like that? Having used Stations like Victoria, Waterloo, Birmingham Moor Street, Kings Cross, Euston, and he says Zambia can implement some thing on a better level than we see now. He wants to change things. You have profs or advisors that have sat in zambia for too long and see change as a threat. Ego, ego, ego,ego. They should have been left out in the first place!

    ZRL needs urgent changes. From outside. By dedicated people who have lived and seen what is happening outside. Those who can knock doors outside Zambia and say, how do we do things? Network Rail, Eurostar, etc.

    • I’ve used all those selfsame services you have mentioned AND I also know that there are guidelines of corporate governance to be followed in any Public company which Chriwa has clearly ignored.
      Please let’s learn to be objective “the companies act of Zambia” is there for a reason. ZRL is being revamped using our money and childrens’ not Chriwa’s that you should not forget; Chriwa is not bigger than ZRL.

  48. Regardless of what his university papers say the most important is that he needs to perform.Professor or not he is useless to us and the company if he is not taking the company forward.Kr 70,000 just in rentals at falls way my dear readers is utter nonsense.Not even a company in the private sector would do that for a CEO.If these demands are true this man is useless and should seek to be employed by people who can pay him that.In reality you will notice that people with a humble education are actually the hardest working .Some of these so called intellectuals spend their careers boasting about their paper and their work is pathetic.He is wasting taxpayers money.We don’t pay taxes to be wasted by a selfish professor.If you ask me he never even earned a fraction of that in the states.

  49. I get the impression prof Chirwa is a difficult man to work with, a Mr Know-it-all, only his way is the right way. This is typical of many Zambian intellectuals in the diaspora who look down on their colleagues back home. Prof Chirwa came with big dreams, underground rail, power stations etc, is it wrong for the board to ask for a feasibility reports? We are talking about public funds here, let the board play its role.


  51. I think the losers in this matter is you and me,am saying this because with too much talking among board members we will not see development in the railway sector.As for now,when the board sits,they will be discussing who gets how much allowance and who gets how much bonus rather than the main issues of developing the railways and all these sitting will count for a sitting allowance.Desolve the board and get serious people to join Chirwa.

  52. What can I say…what I see is corruption on both sides. The side of the Board and that of Prof Chirwa. Really thats why we can not develop coz of selfishness. If the salary Prof Chirwa is demanding is true, then we dont need him at the ZAR, the company will go down just coz of the salary of one person. Nowonder the Board also wanted the K500 Million sitting allowance. What a bunch of thieves.

    Peace and Prosperity to Mother Zambia.

  53. Actually shouldn’t have been given a board where have pipo like Mark Chona and Saasa .What have done. lf any these are kind of pipo that have made Zambia poor.

  54. Chirwa is not only a crook & imbarassment to Zambians abroad but a successful failure. He promised to become Zed President come 2011 but even failed to contest as an MP. What he is saying is just the usual professor theories. The whole of his life he has worked as Head of Dept & researcher of course for blue chip companies but not as CEO of even Kantemba. He knows nothing about corporate governance that’s why he can’t understand the role of the board which formulates policies on which he applies. His lavish salary of $560,000, rental of Kr 72,000.00 & awarding his company tenders to please his white wife from borrowed Euro bond to be repaid by taxpayer is absurd. If there was no e/bond he would have not accepted the job. Please, fire him to save him from life imprisonment like RB.

  55. Zambians,
    1. Stop the infatuation with Drs. Profs et. al., it is the root of all ignorance!
    2. Anyone who believes that Clive Chirwa Ph.D. is in Zambia to serve the best interest of Zambians is a fool!
    3. Clive Chirwa’s ambitions are above and beyond ZR, he wants plot one!, that is not a secret. How to get there is the question?
    4. Has anyone mentioned the plight of the ZR workers, what is their position, do they have a Union.
    5. If you think that $120Ms is enough to realize Clive Chirwa grandiose proposition, you lack intellectual reasoning.
    Ine na landa epo mpelele!!

  56. It won’t be surprising to see the millions of US$ allocation disappear mysteriously into thin air followed by meaningless commissions of inquiry set up. Zambia is Zambia.

  57. Interesting to read what’s going on. Thought Transport Minister was an authority on what is happening in Zambia railways saga that is now confusing the nation. Here Zambians are told Prof Chirwa refused to facilitate the development of a strategic plan for ZRL prferring to use his document developed (designed) before the Board was appointed. The question is; did Prof Chirwa find any strategic plan for ZRL development? If so, who designed it? was it put to Chirwa to follow such a plan or modify it or rubbish it all together?. I believe these guys have been in learning institutions for them to get over it intellectually. Chirwa can not just ignore matters, it looks like its old culture clushing with new thinking. Give us a modern railway system, PF govt is running out of time.

  58. Yimwe Bantu, the Board was dissolved on Thursday last week.However Clive continues to rule.The Board was full of Upnd guys!

  59. I dont know who is telling the truth but i feel Prof Chirwa is the right man to Direct and develop ZR. Others must be kicked out of the Board, we need to hear from the President, what did the President agree with Prof. Chirwa for him to give up what he had in the UK..?

  60. “Big brains and egos” at play and crashing! Too hard for the ordinary man to know who is right! The President who is the appointing authority must come in as soon as possible, otherwise “He said, she said” will become the norm. Very sad development indeed.

  61. The EU allowed their tax payers’ money into Zambia, satisfied Zambia has fresh brains to implement the project. The eu wouldn’t have released the funds if Saasa and Chona had presented themselves as the experts. Why now? If some of you guys think so, then you are delaying progress of ZRL. One presents a blueprint, or a plan to get any money from world organisations. Later on Zambia goes back to the donors and says, “we implemented the project, look its running and serving the people”. President Sata convinced the EU since he worked in UK just like Chirwa. If you sit on the Board, you have no bragging rights or the power to impede progress. You may be prof, economist or mechanical engineer. Sata & Chirwa have a blue print to implement. They opened doors, don’t delay them or the…

  62. I was going to suggest that the board be fired and replaced by people who are interested in seeing transformation at ZRL. What is wrong with moving HQ to Lusaka? Opposing for no good reason. Also if Chirwa had a plan before the board was appointed, why can it not be adopted? Old and slow methods of doing things is wasteful. People like Mark Chona are old and probably are out of touch with modern management thinking. The accusations against Chirwa are very serious and they should be investigated. If they are true, then he should also be fired.

    • The Headquarters were in Lusaka when the South African owned RSZ was running the rail line. When PF kicked RSZ out , they immediately took the headquarters back to Kabwe. Now Prof Chirwa wants it back in Lusaka! And in your sycophancy you think the Board is in the wrong.

  63. Just imagine, even Yaluma said all is well at ZRL! We all know there is no smoke without fire. Who is fooling who? Is it me or is it you?

  64. “As a result of this development, the Board resolved that Clive Chirwa should not be allowed to throw money to major restructuring projects until management has submitted to the Board for approval clearly-argued and properly sequenced activities,” Prof Saasa said.Take your take your academic arguments to UNZA iwe Saasa ala. We deal with practical reason not vyapuba of fighting over control and power. Live Chirwa to fail or succed based based on the overall ZRL limited business recovery project. Schedule your boarding meetings quarterly instead of always wanting to meet to approve every decision and course management is intending to take. Fuseki imwe ba Chimbwi! Behave lake adults ……..

  65. The lack of executive experience in Chirwa is very apparent here. This could have been sorted out with tact and finesse. This political charade is not necessary. Govt should find a new board and appoint a new CEO with a track record of turning failing companies around.

  66. Underqualified miners from Australia get all these benefits the good professor is asking for, and Zambia gladly opens her purse to have foreigners come in and run the economic affairs of the country, that being copper essentially. Yet she can not handsomely reward her very talented sons and daughters to do an even bigger job for the country. Talent such as Prof. Chirwa’s is not cheap. Pay the guy what you pay foreigners! The good professor and the board should not resolve issues in the media; that ain’t professional at all! Who cares about the jury of public opinion?

  67. Zambians are so used to stealing and any one who comes in their way, is pulled down (PHD). Its the same thing in the civil service where day in day out they are leaking false hoods to some on line publication about govt. simply because their MMD loop holes of stealing government money have been blocked. This Mark Chona has been in the public eye for many decades and I can’t recall any major achievement of his to mind. Chirwa has hardly started and the wolfs are on him at the smell of the $120m.
    grant thinking it’s sangwapo as usual. Sata please protect Chirwa from these chancers.


    • which multi-million dollar engineering firm?? Tell us!! We didn’t ask for it but you decided to boast!! Twe bize mudala – tu lelolela!!!

  69. Both Chirwa and the board are being unprofessional. They both have lost all the credibility. The best remedy is to Disolve the board and Fire Chirwa.


  71. When he was hired, what conditions of service did he get and sign off on. There must be a contract which he signed with ZR.It is not unusual to have stock options at the end of the contract. The biggest question is what did they offer him when we they offered the job? Maybe they offered him a blank check on him conditions of service (which is crazy) but if they did I cannot not blame the man for taking the liberty. The problem with Zambians is too much ignorance in all sectors of society. For example if look around you will find that there is no CEO of any parastetal company that has performed. Even monopolies fail to perform. The UNIP and KK culture of just reporting for work and sitting in the office waiting for a salary should change. All jobs should be performance based.


    • You are so and clearly dont know anything about Corporate Governance!! I live and work in the UK and I know that what Chirwa is doing is obscene and the Board is very very right indeed. With Chirwa awarding contracts to his dormant companies and family members, how can one person be spending tax payers’ funds willy nilly! This is not Chirwa’s company to be buying his wife airtickets to UK for shopping every 2 months! What kind of nonsense are you saying here?

  73. I have read every comment diligently, and one struck me most intently: that Prof. Chirwa contested the elections of 2011 & lost, I suppose, to Michael Sata. That upon all of that ab initio rivalry between these two- president & professor- the former still saw fit to appoint him to the position of CEO of the Zambian railway. Hmmm, I am a zambian at heart, who lives in Nigeria.. Further, knowing the way of politicians whose later actions are to favour a former political opponent, I submit that, M. Sata will do all he can to consolidate & strengthen the position of Clive Chirwa. He, being the likable president, I’m given to believe he is, will do all he can to pacify the public, while yet he ensures full mobilisation & strengthening of Clive as the boss of ZRL…

    • The board has been dissolved!
      Please Mr Minister do not appoint another board until chirwa completes at least the first phase of the project.
      Lets get things done on the ground instead of waisting time in board meetings. We need a paradigm shift.

  74. Degree for presido in constitution is needed.How can someone fail to notice this clive chirwa is a fake!!Oh I miss Levy.MHSRIP

  75. When there are educated people on the board who follows the rules of the book, things do not work out. Have you heard Willie Nsanda and the CEO of NRD crush. He leaves him to work on his own and his team

  76. The most dangerous thing in a corporation is to allow a CEO to run rampant without the checks and balances of a board of directors. Just like it is dangerous for a democracy to allow the president to do it all without checks and balances of the judiciary and legislature.

  77. Advice to Prof Chirwa:

    1. calm down, dont get too excited with events
    2.You are in zambia and your salary should not be like you working abroad and am sure even when you worked abroad you never got that much. Prove it if you can because even Doctors few get that much in UK.
    3. 6 tickets annually to Uk. First work and prove the point then such bonus will come automatically.
    4. You are not showing leadership skills if your juniors are fighting you especially in the media.5. Your conditions of service must be public and in conformity with zambian standards, humble yourself and do the job.
    6. Embrace team work, dont hire your on the side companies to do ZRL operations. You are not to chose your senior executives lest they accuse you of corruption , tribalism etc. Tone down. 7. Be smart

    • You are so yesterday!!!! Bonuses have for years been DELINKED from performance BUT INCORPORATED in contracts!!! Just ask the Bankers!!!

  78. Since Prof Chirwa sacrificed to build Zambia Railways to the point of giving up his citizenship it would only be right if he worked voluntarily and then be paid a performance allowance at the end based upon the successful implementation of the Project which he could donate to a local Zambian charity or to people who are struggling to meet basic needs. A lesson for diasporans ensure you make money abroad, let your successful businesses sustain you and your families and when you offer to build Zambia do it voluntarily, those salary expenses and allowances are really exorbitant above the board for an economy like Zambia. Even majority of employed Americans do not make that amount of money. Based on the Internal Revenue Service’s 2010 database below, here’s how much the top Americans make…

    • The exception is only for Government positions and Parastatals. Private Companies can make as much profit as they can and they can pay as much as they can afford and Diasporans can work there and make money but for Public Service it can be done voluntarily with a back up plan of having your own self sustainable businesses and income.

  79. Even majority of employed Americans do not make that amount of money. Based on the Internal Revenue Service’s 2010 database below, here’s how much the top Americans make annually: Top 1%: $380,354, Top 5%: $159,619, Top 10%: $113,799, Top 25%: $67,280, Top 50%: >$33,048.

  80. Maybe once Zambia Railways is very profitable the salary of the CEO can compete with the average salary of CEO’s in the USA,bonuses, allowances of CEO’s of profitable companies in the USA receive an average salary of $10 million per year with the exception of
    Eric Schmidt, Google, Inc. $101 million (company market cap: $264 billion)
    Larry Ellison, Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) $96.2 million (company market cap: $152.41 billion)
    Leslie Moonves, CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) $69.9 million (company market cap: $28.98 billion) Mario J. Gabelli, Gamco Investors Inc. (NYSE: GBL)
    $61.7 million (company market cap: $1.36 billion) Brian F. Maxted, Kosmos Energy Ltd. (NYSE: KOS)

  81. The Zambian national team coach gets US $ 50, 000 what do you say? Stop been petty chirwa’s demands are not far fetched. This board failed to appreciate the fact that chirwa was more powerful than them as he was a Presidential appointee hence amiable to the boards control.

    • Renard has worked for it by dubiously winning the Africa Cup. But this Defunct MMD politician has not created any income & if he is worth his claims he should have been made to create the money like ZAMTEL and even if he demanded $1 million salary, Kr 1million rental per month & 365 air tickets per year it is ok because he would have worked for it but not from Chikwanda’s Eurobond. What is he turning around, awarding himself tenders. The board is dissolved & he has remained. You can’t choose your own bosses (board). He gave up his UK citizenship to run his company & run for 2011 presidency without knowing what it takes to be elected & operate as president. He has no corporate, senior and people management experience & his exit finally will be disaster.

    • Renard has worked for it by dubiously winning the Africa Cup. But this Defunct MMD politician has not created & if he is worth his claims he should have created the money like ZAMTEL and even if he demanded $1 million salary, Kr 1million rental per month & 365 air tickets per year it is ok because he would have worked for it but not from Chikwanda’s E/Bond. What is he turning around, awarding himself tenders. The board is dissolved & he has remained. You can’t choose your own bosses (board). He gave up his UK citizenship to run his company & run for 2011 presidency without knowing what it takes to be elected & operate as president. He has no corporate, senior and people management experience & his exit finally will be disaster. It’s not what country should do for you but you doing for…

  82. Prof Saasa explained on behalf of the other members in the media report and Prof Chirwa explained his defence on the Muvi and ZNBC interviews and taking into account Chirwa’s explanation, we need Prof Saasa also to come to both interviews next sunday without fail or we may suspect conspiracy by the five. Extend the interviews to others so we judge who is/are telling lies. We need to sort out the mess and let the govt come out clear if what prof Chirwa explained to us is true in terms of contract agreement andt the like.

    • PF government is protecting Chirwa for some reason. That is why they gave him airtime to sell his lies. Just kiss goodbye to the $750m.

  83. This man Chirwa is no good. The sooner he goes back to UK the better for all. He is not worth that much. He did not invent the railways.

  84. Nothing against mr Chirwa,but sir whateva high horse u rest on please thing of zambia as a nation in its infancy in development, the 500+ amount u are asking for is outrageous, do u reAlise that after ur 5yr contract u d have taken atleast 40 millin out of the 120 mil meArnt for the project, mind u this is a project thAt yet to be launched so cashflow will only be reAlise wen the project starts running lets not create a situation were more money goes towards salaries, if this is not possible jus take the 120mil and plough it into the 8000 project

  85. I have tried to follow the bright brain of Prof Chirwa. I have failed to find reason why the country can surrender Zambia Railways to an academic like Chirwa. I have been waiting for a logical road map to move the company to viability. I have not heard anything logical. All I hear are high sounding words. The Prof I am sorry to say has no plan. Zambia wait. Next will be the national airline. Zambia get people who know their trade to do the work for you.

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