GOVERNMENT says the transformation of the Mulobezi railway line is a vivid example of prudent utilisation of the US$120 million Eurobond given to Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) to improve the company.
Deputy Minister of Transport and Communication James Kapyanga said travelling a stretch of 162 kilometres from Livingstone to Mulobezi would take a week before the rehabilitation of the railway line but now the journey only takes six to eight hours.
“ZRL should also be commended for revamping and upgrading infrastructure at Mulobezi Railway station, which has helped to create an enabling environment for the travelling public.
“The utilisation of the US$120 million given to ZRL is one of the topical issues that are always raised by parliamentarians,” he said.
Mr Kapyanga, who was accompanied by permanent secretary Mbololwa Muyaba and ZRL management, said this in Mulobezi on Friday during an inspection of the railway line from Livingstone to Mulobezi.
He said despite Mulobezi railway line being wholly-owned by Government, there are litigation challenges involving some individuals who are claiming ownership.
“Government is addressing this issue through the Attorney General’s office to find a lasting solution. You cannot have a situation where an individual claims ownership of the line, vandalises [it] and inconveniences the community,” Mr Kapyanga said.
He also called on ZRL management to quickly work on the bridge at Ngwezi and Bombwe to avoid accidents occurring at the two crossing points.
Earlier, ZRL corporate affairs manager Benson Ngula said the company has spent over K1 million to construct infrastructure at Mulobezi Railway station and to rehabilitate the railway line.
Mr Ngula said the rehabilitation of the Mulobezi Railway line, which is the main mode of transport in the district, has helped to boost agriculture.
“Mulobezi line is providing us with good business and as a company, we are also trying to provide them with a good service,” he said.