NRZ rehabilitates Chiredzi railway line

NRZ rehabilitates Chiredzi railway line Minister Gumbo
Minister Gumbo

Minister Gumbo

Walter Mswazie in Chiredzi
THE National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) yesterday commissioned a $10 million rehabilitated railway line in Chiredzi. The investment, a joint venture partnership between Government and the European Union, is expected to go a long way in reducing bulk transport costs, improve efficiency in cargo movement and prevent the damage on national roads.

Speaking during the commissioning of the 35km–long newly rehabilitated Nandi–Mkwasine railway line in Chiredzi, the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development Dr Joram Gumbo said the recapitalisation of NRZ will save national road network from damage as transportation of bulk goods will revert back to rail transport system.

“The Nandi-Mkwasine railway line upgrading project is a result if co-operation between the EU and the Government of Zimbabwe. It was consummated under the National Sugar Adaptation Strategy jointly funded by the EU and NRZ. EU contributed $7,5 million while NRZ put $2,5 million into the project. I understand this is part of a comprehensive of support extended to our indigenous cane farmers,” said Dr Gumbo.

Minister Gumbo said the completion of the project demonstrates the success of public private partnerships (PPPs), which Government was promoting.

“This project entailed joint railway infrastructure upgrading and received support from NRZ and the EU through Canelands Trust and Tongaat Hullet Zimbabwe. It is also a fulfilment of Government’s policy on promoting PPPs through the involvement of both public and private players in capacity building and other socio-economic development projects in the country,” he said.

Dr Gumbo said the revival of NRZ would be a cost-cutting measure on the transportation of bulk goods and passengers in the country. Government has secured about $400 million for the recapitalisation of the NRZ from a foreign consortium with a few modalities being left for the finalisation of the deal.

“Rail transport is cheaper to the citizenry as compared to other forms of transport. It will be cheaper to use rail transport in transporting bulk goods and it saves the country’s roads from damage by haulage trucks,” he said.

“The recapitalisation of NRZ will involve the overhauling and renewal of rail infrastructure and equipment. This includes tracks, signalling, wagons, locomotives as well as plant and equipment. We envision the rebirth of a standard, up market and modern rail transportation system that will transform our country.”

NRZ board chairman, Larry Mavhima, said some of the company’s turnaround strategies include reducing the operating costs and improving internal systems.

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