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Alba Iulia
Monday, April 6, 2020

Zambia Railways needs about $1 billion to fully recapitalise the company-Chirwa

Economy Zambia Railways needs about $1 billion to fully recapitalise the company-Chirwa

Professor Clive Chirwa
Professor Clive Chirwa

Zambia Railways Limited will create 10 000 jobs during its reconstruction stage in the next three years. Zambia Railways Managing Director Clive Chirwa said that the railway company needs about one billion US Dollars to fully recapitalize the company.

Professor Chirwa said that the reconstruction stage will involve replacing of the railway line, training of experts and buying of new locomotives.

He has told ZNBC News in an interview that the recruitment exercise is expected to start in the next two weeks.

Professor Chirwa said that Zambia Railways has already received 120 Million US Dollars for the reconstruction of the railway company.

He said that the reconstruction of the company will mark the revival of the railway system in the country.

[Read 50 times, 1 reads today]


  1. Prof.Chirwa,

    every one knows that ZR needs a USD 1B but where are you going to get it????

    Keep us bloggers informed on how you will raise USD 1B for ZR or maybe you will go to Mahtani at FBZ so that he can do what he just done to Zambezi Portland Cement Ltd !!!

    • It all sounds like the project has already failed. Why do i say so? Of the $1b required, $120m has been found. Therefore, after spending the available ca$h, that is when the gov will start looking for new money and by the time another portion (not all the balance) is found, some infrastructure worked first will have started breaking down. This will then be the cycle of fixing and repairing and spending on new things. Had the windfall tax been in place, we would have a bit of surity.


  2. Are we still going to be using archaic diesel locomotives or are we going electric with hat kind of money? Will this exercise only focus on existing rail network or will it be expanded to other economic regions?

  3. To imagine that in two weeks works on Zambia railways will start is very exciting. I know even if the task seems gigantic, Clive Chirwa has the muscle to overcome the hurdles. Like they say Rome was not built in a day, I hope Chirwa is given the needed support. Zambia is endowed with great mineral resources and relatively cheap labor force; we can together revamp Zambia Railways. Chirwa is such a good reservoir of wisdom and knowledge that chances are very high that will recruit a formidable team that would make us proud as a nation. 120million dollars to start with is not bad..hope the team will be able to get grants, loans, concessions and guarantees that are needed to quickly turn around things at Zambia Railways..By the way, ZR needs to have three main centers – Choma, Lusaka & Kabwe

    • Wait 1 and half years from now and thats when you can say something objectively. We have too many assurances and promises that have not been matched with deeds. One action is better than a million unfulfilled promises.

    • I think he’s going to piss H.E.MCS off when he (Clive) eventually comes out of his shell and stand for president….

      He can forget about a 3 year project. He should ask his mates at REA, FRA, Zesco and ZRA…

    • You easily get excited that`s why you end up very disappointed,clive chirwa always thinks big but he forgets that he is in africa where there are shoe string budgets,that $120m from the so called whatever fund will evaporate soon where are extra funds going to come from.zambia hasn`t got the money to lay another track dreamer.in short these dreams will take generations to bear fruit

    • Mushota you are right on this one. Clive will fail because of politics. No one has had a celemonious exit from a parastatal company

    • Chitalu I have faith in this Chirwa guy although not equally so with the PF. He will turn this thing around Mwana Wakwitu!

    • I will believe it when I see it. Not after what I know about Clive Chirwa. Zambian’s must be doing some background digging of people not just hero-worshipping everyone just because they are Zambian. That is why we will always remain backward and keep being cheated by frauds. Why all this excitement about ridiculous statements by somebody you do not even know!!!??? People should learn to be skeptical, not always accepting promises without questioning. It’s the same story with Sata’s 90 days. The same people who voted for him are still in the cold, completely forgotten. And now, you all wanto to fall for another fraud even before you check out somebody’s background. Wake up Zambians, the world is laughing at you!

  4. 1billion is a lot for one company in the transport sector. How about mulungushi textile recapitalization costs?? These are reasons. Why we think this country is in auto pilot because policy statements are mute from the head of state apart from appointments and disappointments.

  5. Though I commend CC’s vision, I’m afraid that US$1 billion will not be forthcoming. Other equally critical sectors of the economy also need to be recapitalised and they are competing for money from the same pocket.

    • U are right but I would like to think we have money that we dont have eyes to see. The trick is to make money give birth to more money. I know an economist business expert who could do this but he is not Zambian so he cant be hired

  6. Most of bloggers are dull.Yu are missing the point.Its seems u dont even understand the concepts and principles of running a company.The company is at planning stages where all facts are brought on the table.The next step is to start looking at the ways and means of sourcing those finds.Lets not underscore the importantance of the railwataysystem.Our roads will get a big relief if this project is successful.To hell with politicking.This is why this country is not moving foward.

    • Realism is not a trait for the faint-hearted. We’re currently sitting with a euro bond which we have no clue what to with it & soon will be sourcing more nkongole to take us back to the indebtedness of the KK/ Chiluba days and I’m expected to smile? That’s laughable.

      Here is my solution, take the PPP route that way you spread your risk. Next time I’ll charge you kaponyas for free advice. 🙁

    • it`s not about politicking stanyokoh ni reality,you are talking about $1bln, just to start with look at the fraction that has been raised from the actual amount needed,dont even cheat yourself that zambia railways in its current state has the capacity to raise i percentage towards that amount.chirwa is a dreamer,i had too much faith in him as well when he was aspiring for MMD presidency but after hearing his vision for the the country at lusaka theatre club i came to conclude that the guy was hollow just full of theories,how can someone claim that when he become president he will connect zambia to the indian ocean by digging canals with a port in chipata,can that realy happen now?maybe in generations to come
      the man is wapped and a big time dreamer.
      that money wont be there.finito

    • My friend you are right. Most guys here are only interested to see CC fail. If he fails we have all failed. We need this infrastructure to be up and going. how much do we spend on repairing the roads? We need this project to succeed mwebantu

  7. Clive Chirwa should not be allowed to start ripping the railway-line apart BEFORE the funding has been secured in FULL. What will happen is that he will rip it apart, start pulling off the old lines and then funding tails off – and that will be worse than the current old line because there will be no train moving. Chirwa is NOT a god, he should be monitored and questioned whenever necessary. So for some of you PF cadres who can’t stand any criticism, get off this blog and create your own blogsite where you will be only praising yourselves – and we will see how many people will be visiting your site. So stop the .s.t.u.p.i.d.i.t.y of always crying foul and abusing other bloggers whenever they make observations on a govt policy – otherwise get off Lusaka Times !!!!

  8. Well, Well ! How many times did I point out that you needed to relay the line by Cecil Rhodes? And that attacking and blaming the RSZ was misplaced because it was government responsibility to reconstruct the rail line for it to be viable. I pointed out that you needed not less than $1 billion to do so! Alas I was pummelled by the Ukwanites for telling the truth. The same applies to the monstrosity called TAZARA. But the Ukwanites will tell you that the problem is the person who is there as Chief Executive. No my friends you have to do to TAZARA what you are dreaming of doing to ZR. In 2007 the figure was put at $750m, I am afraid it should be over a billion now…….recapitalise TAZARA!

  9. Not very convinced that Proffessor would do a good job in the corporate world. Notwithstanding his experience in engineering research so much confined to his laboratory, he still does not posses the needed business exeperience to address the daunting challenges in the railway sector.The best way forward is find an investment partner to help him manage the tracks, otherwise this is mission impossible

  10. Ladies and gents just to put you in perspective. Zambia Railways is about 900km long and therefore $1billion would equate to just over $1m per kilometre. This would not only mean rehabilitating the new line but also constructing a parallel new line along it. This money will also go to the rehabilitation of all stations, expanding bridges etc. Having worked on similar projects in europe, I feel $1 billion is an under-estimate but I am sure with our cheap labour we may just horn it. This project is crucial to the future economy of the country. Imagine transporting all copper and heavy haulage on these lines. Imagine the new industries along the rail that could came along on the backdrop of a reliable railway system. In terms of funding, I dont see any problem.

    • Walasa mune. The problem is we are not looking at the future. We are always thinking of now. Let us support and encourage the CEO C. Chirwa with this mission. If it goes well all the citizens of Zambia will benefit indirectly or directly.

  11. someone please explain the joke about how many bembas are unemployed and we will wait a long time if 10,000 of them are unemployed…..

  12. #1 KCI you are a cantankerous nicompoop,in fact a qualified fool.Why do you think evrything is for bembas?Your thinking exhibits inferiority complex and serious backwardsness.If you have nothing to say shut your trap and let people with analytical brains analyse and post sensible comments!!Ulichisoso

    • Kci please, what makes you think just because you speak Bemba you’re a bemba or just because you have a Bemba name you’re bemba, then how do you explain chanda mwale and all these people on the Copperbelt speaking mostly Bemba or Lusaka people using Nyanja or Chichewa maybe these languages are very easy to learn about like English or maybe the speakers of these languages are very happy and proud to spread the use of these languages, guys lets be proud of our peacefull mother Zambia( with her 73+ languages) lets focus on true issues of helping develop our beautiful country for our kids and their kids One Zambia One Nation!!

  13. It is appalling how pessimistic us Zambians are. Had Clive Chirwa mentioned that the revival of ZR was not possible, Im sure every blogger on LT would have responded in the affirmative. It just goes to show how most Zambians view themselves!! Non achievers!!

    Ba phikhala fyenu!

  14. Has any investment analysis been carried out to justify spending this money on ZR rather than other sectors of the economy?

  15. @mambwe #13 It means that Bembas will have to be employed first before other the unemployed from other tribes are attended to.

    Thats KCi narrow way of looking at issues.


    • Not just narrow way of looking at things but most importantly suffering from schizophrenia and diarrhea of the brain. This KCi is a mental patient.

    • It is not really my thinking. I was just teasing a certainn section of bloggers who like complaining especially when the president makes appointments.

    • Very Sharp indeed! Especially in the areas of kolapushoni and kiliminaliti! We are even making headlines in the USA. Viva Bemba Power! Viva Sata! Viva Nevers! Abash ifi ba Tonga ne fyashala!

    • Naturally sharp? Awe ifyo nakana. Umubemba abafye liberal and as a result of this attitude he can pounce on an opportunity in a new ‘world’ faster than abanankwe abaku mitundu imbi. You see abanankwe pakuchita accept a new situation palaba ukushushanya (debate) sana mu mutwe. Limolimo kulaba nokutwala iyi situation ku bakulu kunganda for guidance. In that time the opportunity dissappears or is taken by a Bemba.

    • Youre More like tribalists and not liberals. How many Zambian languages do you people speak? If its only your mother tongue then you are not liberal! More like insular ! “The President is only appointing people who he can work with” i.e tribesmen. 90% of CNP appopintments have been nepotistic and tribal. Since this is ‘your’ government those 10 000 jobs are meant for you! The jobs that CNP has been dishing out to are never advertised. There is no competition. It is all based on wako ni wako! so please save us the crap about your genious!

    • Ba Goncalves dont assume because someone speaks Bemba he is Bemba. Iam Ngoni my mother is Tumbuka and Lala (her mother was lala so she spoke more Lala than Tumbuka). I was born in Lusaka but grew up in Kitwe so I know Bemba very well since I grew up learning and reading Bemba books. And my opinion above is from what I know of Bembas. They are proud but liberal. Negative attributes are given them by those who are scared of them.

  16. Tribalists at it again. I think they thrive from a certain region. How do you compare ZR to Mulungushi textiles? Unless your head is deformed because you were dropped at birth. ZR is a very significant investment that can even change the way people move between the cities and towns in Zambia. Many will opt to use the train than drive and subject their cars to tear and wear in addition to goods freight. That $120 million to start with will generate more money that will be ploughed back into the recapitalization process. Bushe lisukulu lya shani muyako ilyakweba ati ne mitwe yaisa yalibola? Muyu mukuchita regurgitate ayini?

  17. One point which has not been disclosed and therefore being missed is the time frame. A project of this magnitude will take years to accomplish, meaning the US $1 bn will not be required in one installment, but broken down in tranches. Sufficient funds should be made available to complete the various stages of reviving the railways. When all is said and done, perhaps 5 years down the line, the objective will have been achieved.

  18. This is not news to us that ZRL needs a billion dollars to be fully operational; everyone was aware of this when it has in RSZ’s hands and way before the Euro Bond was issued. Surprisingly what is missing in that article is the part where Clive subtly stated that he will go to the markets to raise capital the reminding sum of $880 million: meaning GRZ will issue another Euro bond.
    Why can GRZ just introduce Windfall tax on the mines for an agreed set period as these are the selfsame companies that will benefit massively from an efficient and reliable rail network. Chile did the same after the tragic earthquake to fund the rebuilding process and the UK’s Labour Party did the same after the privatised the utility companies to fund the New Deal Youth employment scheme.
    Why can’t we??

  19. Why insults so much expecially mentioning the male genitals. Do all bloggers like Mushota have i phikala as you put it? Be gender sensitive you children of peasants.

  20. Inyanji yaba Tonga . Not Bemba,s. Remember the previous MDs. Mazoka, Matongo, Hapunda etc. Chirwa will soon be kicked out and Sata will appoint Cornelius Meetwa.

    • Kyakine bamwisho ababemba balikwata Tazara ndemona niTasara pantu mu Chibemba tamwaba Z. Iyi nyanji ya ba Tonga na ba Lamba naba Soli naba Lenje

    • @Chitapi-meno, you sound to be one guy who is really strugling to make ends meet in the diaspora coz of your crude language and the level of bitterness and jealous imbedded in your crocodile brain.
      Read an extract about Chirwa below
      In 2004, the joint American National Academy of Sciences and the British Royal Society gave him the title of Distinguished Professor of Crashworthiness. He is the elected president of the European Union of Transport and Safety Network, and often consulted upon by the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transport. He is the world-class engineer.

  21. Interesting that Prof Chirwa lectured in the School of Engineering at Unza. He opted to migrate for green pastures in UK. Strangely, he started posting articles in the Post Newspapers to claim that he was a genious in whatever disciplines he featured. He later showed interest to stand as President under the MMD, but the Party doubted his political background. Then he sought for refugee status under UPND. Later tried to build bridges between UPND and PF but failed. Apparently we never saw any of his publications arising from his self-acclaimed research prowess. In developed countries one cannot survive as an academic if one fails to publish research findings. Prof Chirwa has come to Earth to swallow his own vomit – ending up as Manager of Zambia Railways. Interesting!

    • @ Mwansa Kabinga – Correct! Check out his CV, it ‘s full of childish stuff, more like a CV for someone screaming to be recognised. Visit the website for Universiy of Bolton where he was before returning to Zambia, you will find his profile there. All what he has listed as Publications, are infact publications his students he has been supervising. He had no publications before that. His profile is quite embarrassing, and I have doubts about his professorship. The so-called University of Bolton is just a regional entity and was equivalent to our NORTEC in Ndola, until recently in 2004 when it became a university. The respectable 2013 Guardian University League tables rank the University of Bolton as LAST in the UK – just go to their website! In short, CLIVE CHIRWA is possibly a fraud.

  22. Zambia Airways needed $1 billion.
    ZCCM needed $5 billion.
    TAZARA needs $5 billion.
    Indeni needs $1 billion.
    UBZ needed $0.5 billion.
    The point I am trying to get at Polofesa, is that all these companies have always needed money.
    You were recruited to sort out the problems, not to talk about them. Get on with the job, SIR!

  23. I do not know why some Bloggers here wanted Chirwa to say the project needs $100m and therefore be satisfied that the project will be successful. The man has just given us the picture at ZRL, and this is the challenge he and the board will face. why are some bloggers so much defeated even before they get into the ring?

  24. This project will not see the light of day. It’s another 90 day gimmick from Sata and his new lapdog the prof. & a good for the 10000 salivating Bemba waiting to be employed. LoL

  25. Based on credentials of Clive Chirwa , Michael Sata, Winter Kabimba, and the entire PF, the real motive for this railway project is to raise money for their pockets, NOT to overhaul the railway system. The truth is NO ONE in this group just mentioned has the skills and brains to deliver the project. Even Clive Chirwa’s fake credentials are not in building things up, in-stead Clive Chirwa is an expert at CRASHING THINGS to test their real-life operation. There is no doubt that he has no idea where to start from when it comes to putting together a working railway system. If he was that clever he would not have left the lucrative UK market to waste his time in Zambia: truth be told, he was a researcher in the lowest ranked university in UK, Bolton. Just give him a year to mess himself!

    • @Chitapi-meno, you sound to be one guy who is really strugling to make ends meet in the diaspora coz of your crude language and the level of bitterness and jealous imbedded in your crocodile brain.
      Read an extract about Chirwa below
      In 2004, the joint American National Academy of Sciences and the British Royal Society gave him the title of Distinguished Professor of Crashworthiness. He is the elected president of the European Union of Transport and Safety Network, and often consulted upon by the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transport. He is the world-class engineer.
      I hope iwe immigrant you have read this.

  26. Break it down for us pls Professor. I estimate $2Billion to bring it up to scratch. The mines should pay a fare share as this will only boost their income from exports. Our credit rating is very good, speak to our Chinese friends to lend us a soft loan with favourable interest rates.

  27. It is really funny, where is this rail line connecting which we will bring miracles to Zambia, Tazara would make more sense most of our copper go through the port of Dar, ZR- connecting through Zimbambwe to RSA!!! Our Professor should not forget that electrical trains are the best and can bring in economy of scales as compared to slow diesel locomotives, but the question is that can the trolley copper wire survive in this poverty infested nation with the Jerabos looking for anything that looks like copper!!

  28. This would be a very worthwhile national development investment for the future of our country.

    This will provide the much needed jobs and forster unparalleled growth in the economy.

  29. Thats the way to go clive!Pipo from chipata can really turn things round and so just wait and see what this man is going to do.we need new locomotives.My grandfather used these locos in his time ,i used them in the 80’s and oh no i will not allow my children to use them!

  30. I hope you will start by looking at potential and profitable routes. Link all major sporting facilities with fast and efficient rail. The tourist capital should be accessible from all corners of the country. Driving in Zambia has turned from luxurious to very dangerous due to influx of cheap Second hand vehicles and bad roads. We share your dream and we wish you the very best. The only way we can sustain our own development is by designing it ourselves. We need engineers to look at the designs of our roads too, using single lane roads as motorways is a recipe for disaster. we need an alternative and rail to me is a no brainer.

  31. @Chitapi-meno, you sound to be one guy who is really strugling to make ends meet in the diaspora coz of your crude language and the level of bitterness and jealous imbedded in your crocodile brain.
    Read an extract about Chirwa below
    In 2004, the joint American National Academy of Sciences and the British Royal Society gave him the title of Distinguished Professor of Crashworthiness. He is the elected president of the European Union of Transport and Safety Network, and often consulted upon by the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transport. He is the world-class engineer.
    Thats the problem with you immigrants who thot by going abroad you would make it, nomba ni zero, palast everything govt does you condemn imwe banamazai baku europe. just continue living on social welfare fund

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