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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Tanzania confirms TAZARA split, Zambia not aware

Economy Tanzania confirms TAZARA split, Zambia not aware

Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Minister Yamfwa Mukanga (left) addresses new Zambia Railways Board members at his office as the new Board Chairperson Davies Chama looks on in Lusaka
Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Minister Yamfwa Mukanga
(left) addresses new Zambia Railways Board members at his office as
the new Board Chairperson Davies Chama looks on in Lusaka

GOVERNMENT has refuted reports that the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) – the joint venture between Tanzania and Zambia – will end on August 1 this year to allow the two countries operate separate railway firms.

Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Yamfwa Mukanga said the reported pronouncement by Tanzania is not what was discussed at a recent TAZARA Council of Ministers meeting in Lusaka.

Mr Mukanga, however, said if that is what Tanzania wants, Zambia is able to operate an independent entity.

“We did not discuss that, but we spoke about a mapping strategy on how we will enhance the operations of Tazara and the introduction of call centres.

“But if they want it that way [to separate], we will stand on our own, although next month, we are having a council meeting in Tanzania. If they agree that that’s what they want, then we will discuss and move forward,” he said.

According to information obtained by the Daily Mail, Tanzanian Minister of Transport Harrison Mwakyembe said the joint venture through Tazara ends on August 1 this year.

Dr Mwakyembe was quoted by The Guardian newspaper of Tanzania as saying the decision to separate the operations of Tazara was reached at the recent TAZARA Council of Ministers meeting in Lusaka.

“Effective August this year, Tanzania will have its permanent leadership [regional manager] and not acting heads as it is now. However, the government is planning on embarking on a new train route from Dar es Salaam to Mbeya without crossing the border to Zambia,” the minister said.

Dr Mwakyembe said the changes would take place despite the exercise of amending TAZARA laws being in progress.

He said Tanzania has already made its recommendations on the amendment of the laws but Zambia is yet to do so.

And the Daily News of Tanzania reports that Tanzania and Zambia have agreed to decentralise and transform TAZARA operations by making it operate ‘commercially and profitably.’

It reports that the two partner states will now change the modality of their ownership in the railway, with a view to increasing the authority’s profitability and self-reliance.

Tanzania, Zambia and China built the railway line to rescue the landlocked Zambia’s economy from dependence on colonial Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, and South Africa, both of which were ruled by white minority governments.

It provided the only route for bulk trade from Zambia’s Copperbelt to reach the sea without having to transit white-ruled territories.

Dr Mwakyembe told a press conference in Dar es Salaam that under the new modality, each country could run its business, saying the new modality allows a partner state to run trains without consulting another.

“Previously, we had a passenger train with one route from Dar es Salaam to Zambia but the new modality allows each country to run passenger trains within its borders,” said the minister while briefing reporters on deliberations reached by transport ministers of the two countries in a meeting in Zambia two weeks ago.

Dr Mwakyembe said the meeting, which was also attended by financial affairs and industry ministers of the two countries, had decided that both countries should clear the salary arrears of the TAZARA staff in June.

TAZARA, also known as the Uhuru Railway, is a key transporter of cargo, mostly copper and other minerals from Zambian mines to Dar es Salaam for export to overseas markets.
It also transports passengers. Zambia and Tanzania recently agreed to inject US$80 million into operations of the company for working capital and to pay off salary arrears.

24 COMMENTS

    • @baret. YOUR CONTRIBUTION SALES OUT. YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT CURRENT AFFAIRS IN ZAMBIA AND PROBABLY SINCE YOU LEFT ZAMBIA YOU HAVE EVEN NEVER BEEN THERE. TAZARA WAS RUN DOWN RIGHT IN KK’s TIME. IN FACT MMD AND PF- MORE ESPECIALLY IS DOING A GREAT JOB TO REVIVE NOT ONLY ZRL BUT BOTH ZRL AND TAZARA. BESIDES THEY IN THE PROCESS OF BUILDING FIVE MORE RAIL LINES. SO, YOUR TALK IS SO CHEAP AND UN RESEARCHED. THAT’S THE PROBLEM WE ARE HAVING IN ZAMBIA OF LATE. ZAMBIANS HAVE CEASED TO BE HONEST. JUST BECAUSE YOU HATE SATA DOES NOT MEAN EVERYONE DOES. EQUALLY, IT DOES NOT MEAN CONDEMNING THROUGH AND THROUGH EVEN WHEN WE CAN WITNESS DEVELOPMENTAL PROJECTS IN EVERY CORNER OF THE COUNTRY. BA BWANA IF YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT A SUBJECT JUST SHUT UP. ASK AKASHAMBATWA WHAT HAPPENED TO KITWE CERAMICS.

    • It’s sad to see that union between the two countries in terms of TAZARA is concerned will end. This move will hurt Zambia and benefit Tanzania more. Let me explain my take on my last statement. currently, TAZARA as one company will charge you a set price from Kapiri to Dar. As separate entities, Zambia will charge for transporting your exports from Kapri up to the Tanzanian border and your goods will have to be loaded unto the Tanzanian trains en-route to Dar. You will be paying twice and this system will be fraught with delays and pilferage. The best way forward is to privatise the rail-line with the first preference given to local businessmen or a consortium of foreign and local business men who will revamp and modernise the industry. It can be the new oriental express.

    • The business has to make money for it thrive and prosper, in short, it has to be profitable and offer handsome renumeration to its shareholders and employees. The more money the business makes the more is spent on modernising the infrastructure and buying of modern carriages for both people and goods. The route is profitable when you just look at the amount of copper moved to china alone and couple that with imports coming into the country through this route. To make it even more appealing, the passenger side of the business can attract a new route for tourism as long as the trains are clean, reliable, safe and modern. This is the only way the system will survive otherwise it will be rundown like Zambia Railways or whatever it’s called these days. Where is Chirwa? We can do it!!!!!!!!

    • Compare this to the EURO-TUNNEL/CHANNEL arrangement between Britain and France where trains go underground underwater across the English Channel (Sea) from England main land to France. The business is so very well run and an enjoyable experience overall. I know the distance is short but the union between the two companies/countries is transparent to the passenger/customer. The trade arrangement between Zambia and Tanzania should allow trains from Zambia to proceed all the way to Dar but something tells me there is no such thing as a free lunch these days. That’s why I would go for the idea above of privatisation and allowing the company to run the service from Zambia to Dar and vice-versa. They can have their HQ in whichever country they choose. We need sleek businessmen . Abromovicheses

  1. Lets see who ll suffer at the end of the Game and its like the king Cobra Chilufya sata is so much aware of that move u can see he is in a harry to constract five rail in zambia to other parts of the neighbouring countries. MMD never sought of that. its very risk as a land lock to rely only on two routes thanks President sata and please ask ur Cabinet to urgently source for money to develop those rail-line urgently. tanzanians wants to operate on their own.

  2. It is PF policy to always, at all times deny or cheat. While the report from Tanzania’s minister looks straightforward on separation, Mukanga is busy denying – true to PF policy on all issues.

    • Agreed. In fact this is consistent with the recent announcement that ZRL was to introduce a train service from Kapiri to the border with Tanzania – anyone remember that? I was actually wondering how ZRL could do that on TAZARA line. Now I know, that the countries agreed IN LUSAKA to decentralise operations in individual countries. No need to deny, bwana Minister; just gpo borrow, after doing a good feasibility study, of course.

    • True KBM. But I have 100% doubts if ZRL is able to run the Kapiri – Nakonde route. They can even borrow $5billion, it will run for sometime, then back to the usual ZRL standards. I just find it difficult to have confidence in some of our systems having been around and seen how wrongly those systems operate. By the way, how many weeks will a ZR train take to arrive in Nakonde? I hear Lusaka – Livingstone is tiresome journey already.

  3. any way its a wake up call for tha zambian govt ,they only think of recapilalisation, working with Tanzanian is like sleeping with the enemy, u should sleep with one eye.The downfall of tazara has been compounded by tazara operating like two companies in one. This time around the govt should actually do away with Tanzania,retrench all workers on zambian side the re-employ and the redeploy them to RSZ .
    Pls mr Transport Minister, read between the lines, tazara will never go anyway as long it remains a …………. of two countries

  4. Its seems Mukanga doesn’t know what is going on around his office, very uninformed. All he can say is only “if”. Failed PF policies at the helm of cadres.

  5. Why should the Tanzanian government want to delink now? I guess they have found it extremely hard to work with the PF retards.

  6. it’s a viable entity run down by black dogs,look at how many trucks crossing into zambia from tanzani carry cargo from the port.all those belong to leaders in tz.would they wish the company well.its only in black countries where road transport can beat rail transport.its idiocy of the highest degree

  7. kekekekekeke so much bragging by the PF on the railway take over and as they begin to run the trains, a goods train derails in kabwe closing the one route through the town and vehicles being made to use a residential road to get through to the other side. Are you surprised bt Tanzania removing itself from the pact? who wants to run bussiness in a country that is running without a head of state and worse not even we the Zambians really know where he is.

  8. I was thinking the decision of this magnitude would have reached to the Heads of States first instead of ending at the six ministers. Slowly the repercussion to this will be not easy to contemplate. Remember the earlier East African Community in which Tanzania is now trying hard to make corrections.

    • there is no president in zambia who the maverick jakaya kikwete can hold discussions with bwana.

  9. Zambia has to do the following immediately

    1. all the Tanzanian trucks should end at Nakonde where Zambian Truckers will pick the cargo. This will boost the Zambian Transport Industry. Currently there are a handful of Zambian trucks crossing into Tanzania while Tanzanian trucks are the most ones you find on the Nakonde -Copperbelt route

    2. No copper should be loaded onto Tanzanian trucks on the Zambian soil as they have been destroying our roads

    I want to differ with the blogger suggetsing that Tanzania will benefit more than Zam

  10. A lot has changed since the creation of Tazara. You have to bare in mind that Walvis bay and other bays which are closer to Zambia and now giving fair competition to Tazara which once upon a time enjoyed monopoly. So going down of Tazara was expected. Especially that it’s not private enterprise.

    • A lot of goods coming into zambia are coming from the far east just as alot of copper is going to china hence walvis bay and durban can not pose a stiff competion to tazara as it is cheaper to import and export through dar,but because of what the blacks have done to tazara we are in such a mess.we are a cursed race.

  11. Mukanga is truly keeping to the PF tradition alive, lying morning, lying afternoon, evening and midnight. Only time they stop lying is when asleep.

    Consider the following, goods through Tazara have largely been for the benefit of Zambia and beyond, not Tanzania. Splitting operations will attract heavier tariffs for the now foreign ZRL in Tanzania which may not be reciprocated by Zambia without further self harm.

    If PF had useful eyes and brains, they would decipher this clearly. They will argue they want to open West Coast via Walves Bay and Luanda, but when do those routes begin to deliver, esp if Tazara is splitting in 14days’ time and Mukanga is lying?

  12. It is imperative to make a study as to why the very essentila TAZARA is running at a loss in terms of revenue.
    That the Tanzanian side has decided to operate as a seperate profit centre is a way of cutting down the endemic losses over the years.
    The TAZARA Line is going no where, and if the Tanzania side is going to ake a profit, so should the Zambian side.
    At the end of the day both countries must sut down and compare notes.

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