Friday, May 24, 2024

Govt.completes study on state of Railway Systems


Government says it has completed a study on the state of the railway system in the country.

Communications and Transport Minister Dora Siliya said an inter ministerial committee consisting of her ministry, State House, Railway systems of Zambia and the ministries of Justice and Finance undertook the study and has since submitted the report of the study to her office.

Ms. Siliya was speaking to journalists in Kafue yesterday when she undertook a fact finding ride in one of the Railway Systems of Zambia Passenger Trains from Kafue to Shimabala.

She said the study was intended to gather facts about the operations of the rail system in Zambia to ensure that it operates well and provide a cost effective and efficient railway transport system in the country.

Ms. Siliya said she would soon submit the report to President Mwanawasa who recently raised concerns about the poor operations of the Rail system in the country.

She reiterated government’s commitment to ensuring that the country has proper rail links to facilitate for more imports and exports.

She said her ministry will undertake more studies on other rail corridors in the country to promote the development of rail infrastructure and consequently the smooth operations of rail transport.

And Ms. Siliya has bemoaned the poor service offered by the Railway Systems of Zambia.

She said there is need for a proper schedule of arrival and departure of trains so that getting on a train is not difficult for citizens who spend hours waiting to board.

The Minister arrived in Kafue around 14:OO hours and spent about four hours waiting for a train which was expected in Kafue at 16 hours but only arrived at 17:55 hours.

And some passengers talked to complained of late arrivals and departure schedules offered by RSZ.

Diamond Sakala, a former Zambia Railways employee said the services offered were better in the past than the ones being offered now.

Mr. Sakala urged government to invest more in the improvement of rail transport in the country.


  1. Zambia Railways must be brought back. It is a shame that such a crucial entity was turned into a cripple by the GRZ following consumption of ideas on how to demolish one’s country from the IMF/WB. A reasonable leadership would have evaluated the strategic needs of the nation and adhere to those principles that would make Zambia a better nation. Turning over Zambia railways to a company via concessions was dumb and brainless. These guys have no track record anywhere. Mr. Botana himself ran Botswana Railways to a poorer standard hence his departure.
    Trouble is that we have a GRZ that claims to have knowledge of everything yet its knowledge is as great as a pinhead.

  2. I totally agree with Diamond Sakala that the services being offered by the Railway Systems of Zambia are below standard. I stopped travelling by train because if does not keep to time and is very unreliable. I used to transport my goods using the goods train but now I have resorted to road transport though expensive but is dependable. What has actually gone wrong with the Railways Systems of Zambia? Why can’t we find other serious investors?

  3. Minister be serious! How do you call a 20 km ride fact finding? Kafue to Shimabala. Get serious Dora.

  4. Minister be serious! How do you call a 20 km ride fact finding? Kafue to Shimabala. Get serious Dora.

  5. Critcism for criticism’s sake.Dora has done the right thing.At least she had the nerve to jump on one and wait for it for 4 hrs for a ride that should take far less.The president has threaten before to reposses RSZ and the coy threaten everything.To me Dora’s interest is well meaning.I agree with #1 that ZR must be brought back.But how?Public Private Partnership, wholly Public, or Private? It’s the same with an Airline.What’s the way forward?

  6. Its called “First hand information” #4, Kitwe to L/Stone could have beared the same result only extended to two days.This is a fact finding exercise, in statistics you reduce the sample to be cost-effective, remember.I give the Min thumbs up, as its first I have heard a politician do this.These pipo just act on reports and complaints.I have all the hope she will act wisely, she knows what she will b talking about.Criticism for sake of it is shooting at a target with already made holes.

  7. Similarly, Muchinji Rail line just reaching Chipata is lack of foresight. Let it be extended to reach Lusaka. It is sad that plan has taken 20 years. Maybe my proposal will take another 20 years more!

  8. #9
    Theres already a railway in plan for linking Zambia to Angola. It’ll be from solwezi to some town in Angola. The railway linking Zambia to Malawi and Mozambique is about to be finished. It’ll be from Chipata to Blantyre to the port in Beira.

  9. Maybe, hats off to Dora for sampling Zambia’s public transport, or trains to be precise. But, this raises another question. Why don’t our ministers use public transport? How can you have a minister of transport who does not regularly pride in using public transport. Its like having seperate loos for company directors on the pretext that he needs a squick clean loo. That doesnt make any sense to me (and probably others). Who wants to use a dirty loo? Directors and ordinary workers should be using the same loo just as ministers with ordinary people should be jumping on public transport for their commut. This would mean building the transport system for the Zambians by Zambia. And not a group..

  10. …of few individuals prescribing a panacea to the people of Zambia which they refuse to take themselves. They will always drive latest posh cars which they buy from your hard earned money-and they dont care at all.

    The whole rail system (if it deserves to be called a system) has been in a mersy you dont need to study its condition. In fact its a safety harzard. What is needed is for the grz take the challenge of constructing a new and modern rails system powered by overhead electricity (cables). And in most cases it should be a dual (rail) carriage system which comes with all the advantages one can think of. 1 reader justed calling the investors to come build our rail system. This is…

  11. …where we go wrong. A serious investor wants to find such systems properly in place: railway lines, roads, postal system, hospitals, schools, name them. No investor is interested in developing one’s country. The relationship between him/her in agiven country is simply profit or money. Its like inviting (even your best) to come and help you make your wife conceive after all failing yourself and expeting that he is really not deriving any pleasure and entirely performing in your best interest. In the same china is answerable to her citizens. The grz must just take some of these ventures for the best interest of citizens.

  12. I agree with Peter. In fact it should be extended to subs i.e. all the way from airport to Chaisa passing thru all sub at specific times.

  13. I agree with Peter. In fact it should be extended to subs i.e. all the way from airport to Chunga passing thru all sub at specific times.

  14. #11, thanks for your comment. What I would like to see is TAZARA continued from Kapiri to Mongu to Angola (it will offer a route from coast to coast. This should not stop the Solwezi-Angola route from going on. The two distances are miles apart and Zambia is centrally located. These routes will ensure development. I am aware of the Chipata Beira rail line. What I said was for it to end just in Chipata is not good enough, let it reach Lusaka.

  15. Zambia’s passenger transport system (road and rail) in general leaves much to be desired, if I may contribute to the submitted study report now on Minister’s desk. First of all as a nation we need to attach great importance to time if meaningful development is to be realised. Bearing that in mind, inter-city and intra-city transport system it be by train (or tram?) or indeed minibus (matatu) or big buses should be coined based on arrival and departure times. This will entail that only competitive and efficient providers will remain in business unlike the present day scenario of confusion in these towns. Worse people are made to wait overnight for the train with no fixed time tables.

  16. I would like to see a consultation document put out to the public. It is ridiculous that the minister should have to sample a journey-so called fact finding! Are there no reports from the past? Do passengers never complain? If they do what has been done about it? Are we serious or is this some kind of joke? What kind of management is this??

  17. Bane, with lack of industries, railway transport is the most ineffective mode. The trends have changed and Zambia Railways glory days are gone! The whole rail network should now be changed to include agric regions like Mumbwa, Mansa, Chipata and Shang’ombo. Tell me, what would a train carry today from Ndola? Would you take a train ride when CR Carriers has a better and quicker service? Restructure ZR or Perish with it!

  18. Surely these ministers think that just because they drive posh cars all is well.I would like Dora to tell us what she observed or smelt whilst on a joly ride.That damn thing smells feaces please our listening GOVERNMENT do something urgently to alliviate the suffering of the people.

  19. Dora should get some advice from Prof Chirwa on how to improve the railway line sector.
    I would encourage people to watch Prof Chirwa`s presentation at

  20. Dora Siliya – Folotiya, for those of you who might not have seen, she said something like this “This train should have left at 9 in the morning, this is 6:30 in the evening, if RSZ could not tell me the truth as a MINISTER (what insolence)” I did not hear the end of the statement because I swore! Anyhow ladies and gentlemen of the forum, clearly we have a list of competing demands, first the minister wants to prove that he or she is a minister, so personal aggrandisement takes precendence. Greed is what has left us where we are. As I watched the camera rolling I could not believe that first and foremost the locomotive RSZ is using had ZR in red meaning that locomotive was procured 60 years..

  21. … the coach where the minister was seated (thank God she was not in her usual mini skirt) had no foam (cushion) baba and then as though to add insult, the bloody wagin had one light hanging reminiscent of the days I used to travel on the Nkandu Luo blue buses which used to be overloaded to the hilt. Guys this country has gone back in time, the train timing is worse, i remember at some point when we had Kafue Express, Luangwa doba doba, I mean what more can you say about the way the country was being run by a cabinet with 3 graduates!!! Greed, read the book capitalist nigger and then move on to Confessions of an economic hitman by John Perkins, you will understand what stupid race we are!

  22. You know its easier said than done. There are Govt. policies that hinder certain things to move in the direction that would be expected. The fish begins to rot from the head first. Our leadership is the problem, some leadership we have! One that expects first class treatment just because ‘as Minister…’???? What about the ordinary citizens? RSZ pays fuel levy and yet they do not use roads…. everyone complains but lets get to the root of this and see who the real culprit is. GRZ deliberately making things hard for RSZ

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