Government seeking help to upgrading ZRL trains into high speed trains

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Transport Minister Yamfwa Mukanga (left) and his Permanent Secretary Bernard Chiwala (right) at Elephant Hills Resort in Zimbabwe on Monday during a Cambodia Night.
Transport Minister Yamfwa Mukanga (left) and his Permanent
Secretary Bernard Chiwala (right) at Elephant Hills Resort in Zimbabwe
on Monday during a Cambodia Night.

GOVERNMENT is engaging the Italian Government to assist in upgrading the Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) trains into high speed trains.

Transport, Works, Supply and Communication Minister Yamfwa Mukanga said the Government was already in discussion with the Italian Government to help improve the speed of the local trains.

Speaking in an interview in Livingstone, Mr Mukanga said there was need to have high speed trains to attract more cargo and passengers to the trains.

“ZRL will not be the same very soon. What we want to do now is to improve the speed of the trains.

“Already, we have been in discussion with the Italian Government to see how best they can help us. We want to change ZRL into high speed trains and that will require that we protect the rail with some fencing so that our people are safe,” Mr Mukanga said.

He also cautioned Zambians against vandalising the railway infrastructure and other Government property in general.

“Any property that belongs to Government should be left to Government and every Zambian should not turn a blind eye when he or she knows people who are vandalizing the property.

“Every Zambian should be patriotic and ensure they report people who are vandalising state property to the nearest law enforcement agencies,” he said.

Mr Mukanga said it was unfortunate that some people were in a habit of stealing some railway infrastructure.

Meanwhile, Mr Mukanga has asked transport operators and those working on construction sites to have proper work safety policies to protect people.

“In the recent past, we have had a lot of accidents and Government is concerned that we are losing a lot of lives.

“For bus operators, let us educate our drivers and conductors on safety. In the plane, they will tell you about safety measures and we need to do the same in buses and taxies,” Mr Mukanga said.

He said a lot of people, who were supposed to bring about sustainable development in the country, were dying through accidents.

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63 COMMENTS

    • ITALIANS SHOULD HANDLE MONEY FOR THE PROJECT NOT PF THIEVES.

      Good idea but the Italians must NOT give any money to PF government. They must find contractors and pay those contractors them selves.

      Last time PF borrowed $750 million for revamping the railways, but only put stones in the railway line and bought a second hand train from South Africa. The rest of the money was shared amongst them selves and shipped abroad.

      LUNGU MUST FIRE CHAMA NOW.

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    • Just bring Prof Chirwa back and apologise. We need two tracks plus the existing one. Why not allow Kavindele build that rail line he’s been dreaming about in north western.

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    • Italians again? I doubt if it is Italian government or it is RB’s Italian mafia friends.

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    • This message is for Chipuba Mukanga: high speed trains need straight stretches of rail to get to their high speeds. The Zambian rail systems from the 1900s is convoluted and twisty because it was designed for steam trains. You need to completely rebuild it into a straight rail line and spend billions of dollars to achieve this. Not the hogwash you are dreaming.

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    • THAT IS WHAT CAME TO MY MIND FIRST, TOO. CHIRWA HAD ALL THE ANSWERS FOR THAT. BUT, CHIRWA WAS TO BLAME, TOO. ANYWAY, THE MINISTER SAID AND I QUOTE:
      1 ” We want to change ZRL into high speed trains and that will require that we protect the rail with some fencing so that our people are safe,” Mr Mukanga said. IT’S MAINLY THE ANIMALS THAT WILL BE VICTIMS. A FEW PEOPLE WILL STILL BE TEMPERING AND BE HIT BY TRAINS BUT LATER KEEP AWAY. ANIMALS ARE MORE AT DANGER. SO, PROPER FENCING WILL BE REQUIRED AS I ADVISED IN SOME PREVIOUS ARTICLES. BOTSWANA HAS DONE IT TO ALL ROADS.

      2 He also cautioned Zambians against vandalising the railway infrastructure and other Government property in general.” PEOPLE REPORT DISCOURAGED BECAUSE NOTHING HAPPENS TO REPORTED PEOPLE. POLICE ARE REPORTED ASKING FOR…

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    • LUNGU FIRE CHAMA NOW.

      Facts are emerging on the ground that Chama is not 100% bemba. His father was a refuge from Angola. He behaves like that because he grew up not knowing his father.

      Chama should tame his stupid temper otherwise Southerners will fix him once and for all.

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    • cntd
      ASKING FOR BRIBES AT ROAD BLOCKS. SOLUTIONS TO HIGH-SPEED TRAINS ARE: 1. ELECTRIFY THE TRAINS, 2. START MAKING RAIL LINES DUAL CARRIAGE WAYS, 3. MAKE KABWE A SERIOUS HQ FOR RAIL SYSTEMS BY EMPOWERING IT WITH PROPER ENGINEERING WORKSHOPS AND MANUFACTURING DIVISIONS, PROPER DESIGNING DIVISIONS, 3, SEPARATE PASSENGER TRAINS FROM CARGO TRAINS EVEN IN THE WAY THEY LOOK- CARGO TRAINS CAN LOOK URGLY THE WAY PASSENGER TRAINS LOOK NOW IT DOESN’T MATTER. BUT PASSENGER TRAINS SHOULD HAVE ATTRACTIVELY MODERN LOOKS BOTH INSIDE AND OUTSIDE, 4. EMPLOY SERIOUS EXPERTS FROM SERIOUS ENGINEERING COUNTRIES OVERSEAS WITH ZAMBIANS AND ATTACH ENGINEERING STUDENTS TO KABWE RAIL HQ, 5. INTRODUCE RAIL TRANSPORT ENGINEERING FACULTY IN UNIVERSITY FOR TRAIN DESIGN ETC.

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    • GENTLEMEN STOP MOCKING ABOUT! Prof. Chirwa your own son offered to come back and build you HIGH SPEED trains and you messed him about. Chirwa was going to put together some of the home-grown ENIGINEERS who are doing things around the world like Dr. Mwanba, Dr. Masiku (an expert currently working on H2S -High Speed Train project in the UK) but to mention a few. Now you want to get the colonials masters to come and exploit you. You are sad people who are colonial prone, namileka mwalitumpa. Where is Atanga now? A local thief like you.

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    • Chirwa may have good ideas, but he abused his position with impunity.

      Besides, he does not have the monopoly of knowledge.

      The country has to move forward with or without chirwa.

      Let’s get down with the job

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    • Zambian leaders can you make laugh. Their thought process is warped. They always believe that real development can only be attained by using Muzungu and not through their own educated professionals. You have your own engineers and other professionals who are qualified enough to bring about the almighty development but you disregard every little recommendations they put across. For this reason and many other reasons, Zambia will remain a backward country for many years to come. You may import technologies but if you have no passion to shift your mindset by empowering your own people, this proposed project will still be a failure. ZRL is a failed project just like Mulungushi Textiles in Kabwe. Truth may hurt but until you learn to love your own, you will remain dormant as country.

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    • Iwe chi Gen @1.9, Chirwa just had the hangover pf being abroad for too long which we all have especially after living abroad for a long time. In time he should have stepped back in track with a bit of help. Assuming he is not a conman that we thought he was reality should have dawned on him and we should have shown him how we are to live as Zambian sober people. His initial idea was to be a celebrity on the UK scale (that is what he was dreaming) but with time he should have realized that in Zambia you sometimes have to work like you are a charity. Initially he wanted to live like José Mourinho, Drogba or Messi but with time he should have realised. Why do you want to be colonised again?

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  1. @ chils, my thoughts exactly. That Atanga guy they tried to push onto the job couldn’t even understand the bottom from the top of what Chirwa had put together. Incompetence is a scourge when you let it.

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    • Oh please give us a break with your Chirwa. No one was going to waste billion of dollars on his hallucinations.

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    • @Gonclaves, these are the same Chirwa hallucinations these PF minions are talking about implementing

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    • Wanzelu, why should Chama be fired. What has he got to do with the Zambia Railways. Don’t be filled with so much hate where by you hate someone just because of his tri. be.

      As for Mr Chirwa he was fired for his extravagance, its was just madness on his part in terms of his expenditure, unprecedented, with regard to his accommodation etc etc. This is a poor Country how can he milk the Project like that. It would have meant that 3/4 of the allocated resources would have gone to meet his personal needs. What a pathetic professional. We don’t need such professionals

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    • @ Peter, that’s the kind of information we need for this Country to move forward (hoping that decision makers will consider it) not those hallucinations from Wanzelu. Wanzelu is just a sick moron who doesn’t know what he wants. I blame his mother and father who did not teach him to love people as God teaches in His Word. Shame on you Without Nzelu that’s yo befitting name

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    • Mukulumpe

      LUNGU SHOULD FIRE CHAMA NOW.

      According to you PF minion, your father and mother taught you to condone and support id0its like CHAMA who hates all the Tongas and Lozis for their political decisions?

      It seems you support tribalists and cold blood killers like Chama and Mumba Phiri who have no regard for other tribes.

      It thats the case then why not let the Southerners, Westerners and NorthWesterners form their country and rule themselves.

      If this tribal hate against the Tongas continues, then let the Tongas have their own country where they can rule them selves without being insulted by stupid *****s like Chama and Mumba Phiri.

      LUNGU SHOULD FIRE CHAMA NOW.

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  2. When is this fool going to stop taking Zambians for fools. Mukanga Sata saw a big fat fool in you. Your gvt has no money & capacity to undertake that. Firstly, u need a stable rail line, proper signalling & communication system infrastructure and mordern trains. You are talking of billions of dollars. Who is going to give you that kind of money? By the way what happened to your dream airline ?? Anyway keep dreaming & yapping to get some air time in the media.

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    • You’re on point. These muppets don’t understand that a High speed rail will mean building an entirely new line costing billions of dollars. Mukanga is once again hallucinating.

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    • James, the Minister has said that all they need is some New Fences to keep the people of the lines…….thats all!

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  3. High speed Trains in zambia ? Twafwa with all that booze whilst on duty? Kaya mwanawandi.

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    • Did he say how many bodies they are estimating to hit per month? He who does not learn from advice must learn from experience.

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  4. As long as this statement comes from Yamfwa Mukanga, I can’t take it seriously. Mukanga has been lying all the way about national flag carrier!

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  5. this guy in the picture is too oily on his face,ugly fat albert,honestly why fatten yourself like this?looks like a hippo resting,visionless pf going back to what someone had long proposed and you threw him sillyasses

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    • @chills naikata,you have to fatten yourself to look kudyela and rich,potbelly iyi yanskanda they should deworm the chap,he cant even pep up himself,ooh my mother country,anyway its poverty at its pick

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  6. Nifwaka iyi Mr. National airline. You spend so much money to achieve mediocre. Now as an afterthought you want to achieve great things.

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  7. What happened to the $120 million from the euro bond? The pathetic fools chased Chirwa who had the ability to do it and hired money launderers to take over.

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    • We had a lot of confidence in Chirwa but he let us down with his madness, demanding for heaven on earth which was not part of the deal hence he was kicked out. So plz spare us your mourning after yo Chirwa, he couldn’t be suitable for the job his skills were overshadowed by his foolishness

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  8. 1st priority get the current trains well maintained, running profitably and on time before going for high speed trains.

    Ba ZRL learn to walk steadily before you even think of contesting for 100m Olympic finals.

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    • @ Enka, I agree with you totally. ZRL must first do better with what they have in their hands now and then they can start expanding into more modern technologies

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  9. High speed trains will entail building a new rail line. The current cost of building a high speed rail track is between $17m to $100m per kilometre. Taking the lowest cost of $17 m per kilometre building the 1000km from Livingstone to the Copperbelt will cost Zambia $17 billion. Can someone tell me where Mukanga and PF will get this money from? Keep on dreaming!

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  10. Vandalism ….ah start with kambwili who vandalised the rail line from Lunshya to Ndola

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    • Why are you such liars and do have evidence that Kambwili store the rail line. You are just bent on tarnishing names of people, you are evil and that’s why yo hh will never rule.
      Its always Chama or Kambwili or Sata etc. Ninshi mwakwatila ulupato finshi bamucitile aba Bemba nokula kuti walowa infact mwalilowa kale but just know that God will judge you.

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  11. With Benard Chiwala, this project can be implemented. Look at the Roads he project managed when he was at RDA.

    Everyone in Zambia praises PF only on one thing: “But Ma-road yeve bana manga”.

    We need such honest, humble, hard working, non-corrupt people like Bernard in Govt/parastatals/private companies, then Zambia will be developed!!

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    • @maloza are living in the countryside in america or you are illegal imigrant who cant go outside to have a good look on a standard tarred road,the quality of roads in zambia built under pf is of low and poor quality what kumanga are you talking about,if you know zambia very well then look at zimbz monze road built by grinnaker then you will understand what i mean,in this era roundabouts for what.

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    • But Why has Bernard been serially fired from these bogus positions without even coming up with a complaint!? Some one clarify before we condemn him being incompetent.

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    • @ Humanity: the nitty gritties of compliance are for the Engineers to sort out. By the way, I’m not in America as u assume. I’m your neighbour in Libala.

      @Waza: Bernard was fired so that a corrupt “User-Friendly” RDA MD could be appointed. Look what happened to RDA after he was replaced:-
      a) Contractors are not being paid on time leading to most abandoning site. Now they have to bribe officials at MoF to speed up payment.

      b) Corruption in the award of tenders has come back. When Willie Nsanda died, K4million (K4 Billion Old Kwacha) was found in a trunk in his house.

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  12. WHY NOT ADVERTISE TO ALL COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD AND PICK THE BEST AT AN ACCEPTABLE PRICE? WHY ARE WE IN A HURRY TO SINGLE SOURCE THIS SERVICE/CONTRACT?

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    • Iwe Ganda, Chirwa was fired for a good reason and he is not coming back even if he is Lungu and RB’s relative. Forget about Chirwa he was a dreamer at ZRL. There are others out there who came come and be normal that yo Chirwa who was a dreamer

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  13. This fool again…high speed uses a special track meaning 120m was wasted as we told these empty tins

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  14. High speed trains! As if we haven’t had enough RTA carnage already and now we want to add to it train carnage with over 500 passengers per train being sacrificed every so often. Where to Zambia with weird dreams?

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  15. Is Bernard Chiwala the Permanent Secretary at Works? When was the appointment made? He was relieved of his duties at RDA after the demise of Nsanda. I can’t remember reading a story of him being re-appointed PS. I may be wrong but I suspect he attended that function in his capacity as Engineering Institution of Zambia President.

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  16. This news begs belief!

    So we Africans can be so racist against our own race?

    What makes the minister’s different from, or even superior to Professor Clive Chirwa’s offer?

    I’m sad and disappointed with this kind of thinking.

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  17. But Mr. Mukanga you know who stole all the rails in Luanshya!!! None other than your friend Chishimba Kambwili!!! That’s the guy you should start with before you go to other poor people!!

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  18. this Mr “a national airline is coming soon” at it again. What does he eat before going to bed that gives him these crazy dream-ideas?

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    • sure everything starts with a dream..but how many times does one have to dream.? time to wake up now.

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  19. We shall never stop dreaming in this country. I do not even know what type of brains we have among our ministers who always tend to think stereo type just because today he has tax payer’s money in his pocket and can easily access it through the salary/allownces he gets. If you are not able to maintain the manual trains you have now to run on time why dream about the fast trains. Zambian politicians never stop amazing me, their brains. If you have nothing to say as a mister why not keep your mouth shut. We had Railway Cars during KK time . Tell me how many people died through derailments, millions. If we were intelligent enough that was the time we could have studied what were the requirements to stabilise those trains. They were fast enough. May be MUKANGA was not yet born. He can try it.

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  20. If wishes were Horses surely F0ols would happily ride. Where is the $120 Million Euro bond pumped into ZRL? Load shading is the order of the day and you want to talk about electric trains… please just take a seat and STFU

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  21. Ok so Italians will be paid more than Prof Clive, and will probably stay where Clive stayed. Then the Italians will receive the payments plus holiday and medical allowances to the cost of hospitals in the euro. Guys learn to trust your professionals. And please stop allowing buildings with gates. Our people will soon have no go areas and that will be the end of us.

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  22. Watch this space. Zambia will pay the Italians a lot more than they were willing to pay Chirwa for the same job. The Italians will also not have any long term allegiance to the future of our railway system. Zambia need to learn to pay for performance at the world level not the Zambian level. The Zambian level is already zero.

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  23. All these ideas are just amazing and sound fabulous. But an idea is only an idea without a vision. The PF government has asked for so much aid but where is that money and just how many projects have been completed? Kambwili we know of where the money went, just look at the home he built on illegal land, nothing has been done such as confiscating that home. We all know when he got that money and even has a dirty club/restaurant with no merit and classified as a beer-ulo. Mulenga Sata and his $500,000 S.A home plus more land grabbing related ones. Rupia Banda and his son’s Nigerian scandal yet he is President Egdar Lungu’s aid. Maybe when they start falling out is when the drama will start unfolding. It happened to GBM and Sata when he was being prosecuted only after their falling out.

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  24. A few key issues at hand here. Do we have reliable Zambians who can do the same job other than Italians, known to be crooks and mafia related. Its best to keep revenue in our economy and have it circulating while creating jobs for Zambians especially youth not Italy. They talked about road safety. Zambia needs to have its citizens follow policies and procedures. Too many riffraff`s with no experience on the road. Have bus owners and their drivers do road tests every 6 months. If they pass they can stay on the road. It can reduce speeding, drinking & driving, teach rules of road safety. Licences issuers should be fined if they sell to a person not qualified. High speed trains require infrastructure and technology, do we have that in place in Zambia in order for it to run successfully.

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  25. Dull ministers are costing this country. The current trains runs at less than 80km/h because of the railway lines. Where would the high speed trains run? These ministers spend 6 hours dreaming like a 5 year old boy. These dull ministers waste money on travelling to China to find out about high speed trains knowing that our rail lines are not designed for that and most of lines are bent. Now they want to secure another loan pretending the loan will be used for high train technology so that they can steal the money. All this garbage is coming from Yamfwa who has been to university and has worked for ZCCM. What can we say? He is either dull or he wants to steal through corruption.

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