THE Kabwe Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) and residents have petitioned President Michael Sata to intervene in the matter in which Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) management wants to relocate its Head Office to Lusaka.
The petitioners said local people were dependant on the firm for their livelihood.
KCCI and the residents, who yesterday matched to the Provincial Administration offices where they presented the petition, also expressed disappointment over the deplorable state of the roads despite a contractor being on site.
KCCI vice president Andrew Sinyangwe who presented the petition to Central Province Minister Philip Kosamu said the planned move to relocate the ZRL headquarters was disturbing and urged Mr Sata to intervene on behalf of the people of Kabwe.
Mr Sinyangwe said the move was disturbing following the recent suspension of chief executive officer Clive Chirwa who attempted to go in the same direction but was ordered to move the head office back to Kabwe and was also forced to stay in a company house.
He said when the now defunct Railways Systems of Zambia decided to shift its operational head office to Lusaka, the government at the time and stakeholders resisted the move on grounds that it was retrogressive.
“Having said this it is baffling for the above reasons that a parastatal company can take such unpopular decision and attempt to discredit the people and the government’s aspirations to develop the rail transport sector and the town,“ he said.
He said among other consequences include the loss of local supply contracts which would be administered from Lusaka and therefore awarded to Lusaka suppliers.
He said the sourcing of 750 million euro bond destined for ZRL would be lost and asked President Sata to halt the uncalled for measure that would ‘kill’ the town.
Over the poor state of the roads, Mr Sinyangwe said the chamber and the entire business community was concerned at the slow pace of the road works which had left the town dusty and was worried about the quality of roads to be delivered.
“Why is Kabwe always given the crumbs to eat out of the national cake even simple things like roads we are left behind yet we see other towns looking presentable,“ he said.
And receiving the petition Mr Kosamu who was accompanied by provincial Permanent Secretary Anne Sinyangwe, paid tribute to KCCI for the mature manner in which it presented its grievances and pledged to deliver the petition to the Head of State.
And Kabwe Central Member of Parliament (MP) James Kapyanga paid tribute to the organisers of the peaceful march and demanded that Kabwe was interested only in quality road works and not shoddy works.
Earlier scores of residents marched in the city centre carrying placards which denounced poor road works and the move by ZRL to relocate to Lusaka.
Acting ZRL CEO Muyenga Atanga said it was not true the firm was relocating to Lusaka saying only the creation of a corporate office was being done in Lusaka
Why should everything be in Lusaka? Kabwe is more central. Besides, even Kabwe people want jobs like for secretary, sweeper/cleaner, office orderly and so on and so forth. They also want to be proud as the hosts of ZRL HQ. Should Zamtel move its HQ to Lusaka from Ndola as well?
That management should produce a 3000 page dossier on why they think Kabwe is no longer appropriate to be the HQ for ZRL.
Good point. If they don’t want to stay in Kabwe they can quit the job. Kabwe and Lusaka are close they can commute with Zambia railways train, are they not the ones managing the trains? So why not put them to good use. They need to develop kabwe, Lusaka is already crowded.
Are these not the same people who were accusing Chirwa of moving to Lusaka? Keep the hats in Kabwe.
Kabwe needs ZR. Lusaka doesn’t. Lusaka is already a filthy city growing unplanned and ZR would just increase its shambles. If anything Government should think of moving the capital out of Lusaka to Kabwe or Kapiri
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