Chinese Deputy Ambassador to Tanzania Guo Haodong has says political will is all that is required to completely revamp TAZARA and resolve all challenges that the Authority has been facing.
According to a statement issued today by TAZARA head of public relations Conrad Simuchile, Ambassador Haodong noted that Tanzania and Zambia could easily resolve the challenges of TAZARA if they came to an agreement as partners.
The Ambassador who was speaking when he paid a courtesy call on TAZARA Managing Director Eng. Bruno Ching’andu emphasised that political will was a key requirement to completely revamp the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority.
“At the time of constructing TAZARA between 1970 and 1975, the three countries had more daunting problems then.
Today, all the three countries are far more advanced than they were in the 1970s. Therefore, it is a matter of political will that is required to revamp this company and take it to another level,” Ambassador Haodong said.
And Ambassador Haodong regretted the railway’s poor performance in Tanzania and Zambia, citing an example that when he travelled to Mbeya by road, the highway was heavily congested with trucks carrying heavy loads and yet just a few metres parallel to the road, the railway track was lying idle.
Meanwhile, Eng. Ching’andu who welcomed Ambassador Haodond said the Railway Authority was doing its best to uplift the performance of the sector under very limiting circumstances, due to low equipment capacity.
“We are grateful for the support we have received in the past. We are also thankful that some initiatives are being considered by the governments to reinvigorate this railway. With the limited capacity that we have, we have managed to reverse the sliding trend in the performance of this company in the last two years, having come from a low of 88,000mt of freight per annum to an annual haulage of close to 200,000mt currently, which is a turn-around of more than 90 per cent,” said Eng. Ching’andu.