TRANSPORT and Communications Minister Mutotwe Kafwaya says government is still waiting for the board to submit a business case to revive TAZARA.
In an interview, Kafwaya explained that once the business case was completed, the Zambian government would plan on how to finance the requirements.
“Both Zambia Railways and the Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) require revitalization. In both of these companies, we have to make sure that we inject capital. So, the last time we had a Council of Ministers meeting for TAZARA in Tanzania, we directed the board of TAZARA to come up with a business case where TAZARA was going to indicate what was required for the company to be able to run efficiently. And as it stands now, we are waiting for that business case. Once that business case is completed and submitted, we shall review it and begin to think of how we can finance the requirements; that is if we are convinced the business case speaks to the situation,” Kafwaya said.
“Zambia Railways is a purely Zambian company. I am aware of the many companies that expressed interest to participate in the revitalization of the company. We have to be decisive and give the business to the companies to do that. But at the same time, we need to think through the most suitable financing options for that revitalization. Whereas the contracting to do the job is one cost, the financing would be another process. The companies which will be offered the jobs to do the telecoms, the workshops to build capacity among them, working with government, must also generate financing options, which will be reviewed by the Ministry of Finance.”
He said it was the government’s vision to develop the transport sector on an inter-model basis.
“Zambia as a country requires to do other railway lines. You have heard about the North-Western Railway; you have about the ‘Lion’s Den;’ you have heard about the Nseluka-Mpulungu…all those need to be done because when we open railway sub-sector of transport, we are making our transport situation better in our country. And we are promoting the moving of cargo on to rail to save our roads. Our roads will be able to last longer. It is a vision of President Edgar Lungu’s government to develop the transport sector on an inter-model basis,” said Kafwaya.