Respina Zinyanduko

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Respina Zinyanduko is a senior corporate lawyer with experience in the Transport and Logistics, Agriculture, Wildlife, banking and energy industries. Her areas of specialty include labour, project management and financing, company secretarial, legal advisory, contracts drafting, negotiation and review, Corporate Governance, mergers and acquisitions, liquidations, banking and finance and due diligence. In January 2023, she was appointed substantial General Manager of NRZ.

Personal Details

No information was found on her age, place of birth, or family.

School / Education

Tertiary: 1999 - 2003, Bachelor of Laws Honours [LLBS] Hons, University of Zimbabwe.
2017 - 2018, Masters in Business Administration, Midlands State University.
2019 - 2022, Doctorate in Business Leadership, Midlands State University (pending).

Service / Career

2007 to 2011 - Administration, Legal and Corporate Services Manager, Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.
2011 to 2015 - Head Legal and Corporate Services, Allied Bank Limited.
2015 to 2016 - Legal and Compliance Manager, Agricultural Bamk of Zimbabwe (AGRIBANK).
2016 to 2021 - Assistant Company Secretary, Zimbabwe Power Company.
2021 to 2023 - General Manager, National Railways of Zimbabwe, Bulawayo.


Acting general manager of NRZ (and former Board Member), Respina Zinyanduko, in August 2021, had disgruntled workers opposed to a restructuring exercise push for her ouster. The exercise, began in June 2020 was intended to abolish some positions, redeploy some managers, executives and general workers and not renew short-term contracts. The exercise faced resistance from some line managers and other executives who pushed for Zinyanduko’s removal. They accused her of failure to consult, nepotism and favouritism by using the restructuring exercise to, among other objectives, hire or promote her close circle of friends and relatives by creating new top positions. A petition, dated 4 August 2021, was produced. Ziyanduko denied the charges as untrue and influenced by “resistance to change”.

The parastatal board sacked general manager Engineer Lewis Mukwada and three other senior executives: director of marketing Elector Mafunga, director of operations Samson Bhuza and director of corporate services Misheck Matanhire.

In June 2020, the late Transport and Infrastructure Development minister Joel Matiza directed the board to restructure management and bring in fresh blood to revive the rail parastatal. The NRZ required US$400 million in the short term and US$1.9 billion in the medium to long term to recapitalise its operations. Its operational efficiency and capacities had largely been affected by maladministration, impropriety and a harsh economic climate. At its peak, the NRZ moved 14.4 million tonnes against an installed capacity of 18 million tonnes annually. The NRZ was also seeking a strategic partner after the government cancelled a US$400 million deal the parastatal and the Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group and Transnet had agreed.

Zinyanduko was appointed acting GM in February 2021, to take over from the late Joseph Mashika, who was acting GM, and passed away in January 2021. [1]

A Turkish investor, Yapi Merkezi, was in Zimbabwe in September 2021, looking at the NRZ. After a week-long tour, he was impressed by the country’s rail. NRZ acting general manager Mrs Respina Zinyanduko confirmed there was a deal which would herald the transformation of NRZ through the rehabilitation and modernisation of the country’s railway infrastructure. The Turkish company was finalising the financial package for NRZ having collated the cost of locomotives and repairs needed to put the parastatal back on the rails. She said Cabinet had already given the thumbs-up to the deal.

During the tour, they found about 258 cautions, or what we can call rail potholes, that need to be repaired. We are now at a stage where they are doing the costing of the repairs that are needed and they also indicated that they want to procure locomotives for us as part of the deal. So they are the ones who will source the funding and provide the technical expertise that is needed. The Government has already given us the green light to enter into a contract with Yapi Merkezi, so once they finish, then we can be able to come up with terms and sign the deal.

As part of the tour, Government officials, NRZ executives and the Yapi Merkezi team travelled to Tanzania to assess some of the work that has already been done by the company. Yapi Merkezi secured a US$1,9 billion contract to build a 422-km high-speed electric railway line in Tanzania. The company was responsible for designing and constructing the railway line. “Yapi Merkezi is quite a big company which has done a lot of work in Africa and a team went to Tanzania to assess the project that has been done by the company there. This gives us confidence that we are entering a deal with the right partner who has a proven track record.” [2]

Further Reading


  1. Knives out for NRZ boss as workers demand ouster, The News Hawks, Published: 14 August 2021, Retrieved: 27 January 2023
  2. NRZ, Turkish investor inch closer to major deal, Nehanda Radio, Published: 26 September 2021, Retrieved: 27 Janaury 2023

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