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AG’s report on Zambia Railways loss overtaken by progress – LinyamaBy Mirriam Chabala on 24 May 2019
Zambia Railways board Chairperson Lubinda Linyama says the company has put in place a number of interventions aimed at dismantling its historical liabilities with statutory entities that have been reported in the Auditor General’s parastatal report of 2017.
And Linyama says the company’s loss position highlighted in the Auditor General’s report were as a result of two parallel pay rolls that the company was managing consisting of retirees and active employs, explaining that Zambia Railways has since taken care of that challenge.
According to the report of the Auditor General on the accounts of parastatal bodies and other statutory institutions for the financial year ended December 31, 2017, Zambia Railways had remained a loss-making company for three consecutive years between 2015 and 2017, with the highest amount being over K134 million in its 2016 financial year.
The Auditor General also revealed that Zambia Railways had failed to achieve any of its six goals as contained in the company’s strategic business plan, originally launched in 2013 to encompass a five-year period between 2014 and 2018, while still struggling with “over-aged” locomotives and poor infrastructure despite benefiting US$120 million proceeds from the Eurobond in 2014.
But according to a statement issued by First Secretary for Press and Public Relations at the Zambian Mission in South Africa Naomi Nyawali, Linyama who was speaking in Johannesburg after addressing delegates at the South African Railway Association (SARA) Rail conference and exhibition held at the Gallagher Convention Center, Zambia Railways had revised its strategic plans which would run from 2018-2025 in a bid to improve its performance.
Nyawali stated that Linyama was confident that Zambia Railways was on the right track owing to the number of measures that had been put in place to over-turn its fortunes, emphasising that the 2017 Auditor General’s report which had highlighted the company’s troubled financial status painted a picture that had been over-taken by events.
Nyawali explained that Linyama also mentioned that his company had entered into a time-to-pay agreements with National Pensions Authority (NAPSA) and Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) among others with a view of demolishing the historical liabilities which will help clean up the company’s balance sheet.
She said contrary to the impression that had been created that the company’s locomotive strength was gloomy, his company had made a lot of strides such as the introduction of new locomotives secured from its partners to help turn the fortunes of the company.
Zambia Railways has embarked on re-manufacturing of locomotives within its workshops which have enhanced the company’s capacity to move cargo and Nyawali in her statement indicated that the board Chairperson said his company had also revised its strategic plans which will run from 2018-2025 in a bid to improve its performance.
About Mirriam Chabala
Mirriam Chabala is a Zambian journalist who covers current affairs and writes in-depth feature articles on social issues.
Email: mirriam [at] diggers [dot] news
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