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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Mulobezi Railline rehab prudent use of $120m eurobond, says Government

Economy Mulobezi Railline rehab prudent use of $120m eurobond, says Government

Zambia Railways workers in action during the commencement of the truck rehabilitation programme in Livingstone
FILE: Zambia Railways workers in action during the commencement of the
truck rehabilitation programme in Livingstone

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.

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  1. 8 hours to travel 162 kilometers is a disgrace to say the least in this day and age. They shoul have done the road!

  2. @ Whisper, indeed; the train previously used to take 168 hrs to cover 162 kilometers, about 1.03km/ hour, somebody walking would overtake it. One wonders why they just didn’t walk the distance, they would have been arriving ahead of the train.

  3. In 2006 I did a research paper on the same railway line. I experienced the one week journey as part of the research. The major cause of the delay was breakdowns caused by mechanical faults and too much sand which caused the train to divert from its normal path hence ZRL had to work on it. Its really impressive if the journey has been reduced to 8 hours. A huge congrats to ZRL and govt.

  4. Just compare this with the Eurostar trains between London St Pancras and Paris which travel at 300km/hr and you realise where we are in our stage of development. 162km in 8 hours….Are you kidding me!!!

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