Zambia Minister of Transport and Communication,  Brian Mushimba at LLDCs High-Level meeting in Santa Cruz Bolivia. PHOTO COURTESY BOLIVIA UN MISSION
Zambia Minister of Transport and Communication, Brian Mushimba at LLDCs High-Level meeting in Santa Cruz Bolivia. PHOTO COURTESY BOLIVIA UN MISSION

GOVERNMENT has signed a US$2.3 billion contract with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation for the construction of a 388.8 kilometre railway line from Chipata through Petauke in Eastern Province to Serenje in Central Province.

Speaking during the signing ceremony in Lusaka yesterday, Minister of Transport and Communication Brian Mushimba said the railway line will promote local and international trade once completed.
“This project is meant to enhance regional and international trade through the Nacala Development Corridor with a direct economic stimulus in Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique,” he said

The contract to construct the 388 kilometres of railway has been signed with the China Railway Construction Corporation Limited.

Mr Mushimba said the railway line will link Zambia main railway with the Malawian line through Chipata Mchinji Railway.

He said once the Chipata-Petauke-Serenje railway line in done it will provide the shortest route of one thousand five hundred kilometres to the sea from Kapiri Mposhi.

And Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Yang Youming is delighted that Zambia and China have continued to share profound friendship demonstrated through various development initiatives.

Meanwhile, China Railway Construction Corporation Limited president Zhuang Shabiao pledged to deliver a quality product.

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38 COMMENTS

  1. whats the source of funds for this contract? Is it another loan and from whom? What are the terms of repayments? Do we have the ability to raise US$2.3Billion for this Railwayline?

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    • A rail line for PF cadres & not the ordinary citizens.
      Everyday with this visionless PF its kaloba & all talk. The $2.3billion is for sharing in the incompetent & violent PF. IMF has refused rendering the bailout package for the visionless PF bandits whilst prices of commodities are excruciatingly dear!
      PF with comrade Mukanga, to date with their lies of short legs, Donchi Kubeba madness & now dununa primitivity back pathologically failed to establish a national airline. Visionless PF is all talk, good only at corruption, hooliganism & charlatan emptiness.
      The Skeleton Key
      ~206~

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    • The first question to ask is, “Is Tazara and Zambia Railways self sustaining?” if answer is NO, then stop this project. They want to borrow this money at a record interest and again pocket it and fail to pay it. Muzambia tulimuchibe.

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    • Economic tribalism!

      For North Western Railway Kavindele, son of the province, has to source funds but for unproductive Eastern GRZ, with resources mobilized countrywide, has to fund it. Eurobonds used to develop Muchinga yet NWP has to rely on its own copper at the mercy of FQM’s $50m road budget which can only do 40km!

      What double standards are these? What better goods will be transported over that useless rail than Solwezi copper & Angolan oil?

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    • Moreover why can’t you first complete the road projects. Uku muleti you have borrowed too much and there is no money, whats happening kanshi mwe bantu

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    • But they should plan it well so that one can travel by road connect on a train and proceed to his destination.

      Also they should try to pass the train through towns not in the bushi like the way KK avoided to pass Tazara through Chinsali just because he had been chased for eliminating his friend

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  2. I do not see any economic value of this Project! A damn way of getting in a serious debt trap.. My thoughts.

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    • compare the routes to the sea currently for Zambia and if Beira through Serenje will have advantages over others then its a good idea, just try to understand the rationale behind this route its infact long over due.

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  3. Great idea 1500 km Seira route from Kapiri to Beira, TAZARA route is 1860km from Kapiri to Dar es salaam it makes sense especially that Dar port has a lot of challenges in terms of cost its too expensive a lot of unnecessory inconveniences and complications. I hope Zambian government even invest in Beira port as well like it did in Dar on former Zamcargo (Mofed)

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    • But what will it transport? Tazara is hardly making a profit and still has not paid back original loan after all these decades. The Northwest route is more important as the copper is being transported by road

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    • Dah, the shortest route to Beira is through Zimbabwe. We should have engaged the Chinese to construct the Kafue/Chinhoyi railway and viola! The shortest route to the sea! It will be shorter than the proposed route by far and at a much less cost!

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    • Sage, think.
      Do you want Zambia to be at the mercy of Zimbabwe again knowing how Zimbabwe behaves when she has an advantage. Beira route through Eastern province is better as we will only have to deal with Mozambique and no other third parties.

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    • Zambia will always be at the mercy of it’s 8 neighbours so the more routes to the sea it has the better.

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  4. What will they be transporting? MBEBAs?

    This PF00Lish Kaloba Govt is entrapping us in debt which will be paid by NWR companies. All useless infrastructure projects are being taken to unproductive NER.

    The GDP of NER is the same as that of Somalia.

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  5. Good idea, shud have started 10 years ago. We shud also consider creating a SUEZ CANAL type of river transport from Angola or Beira/Nacala in Mozambique. Our cargoes from all over the world could be docking right inside Zambia unlike the way it is today where we have to travel all the way to Dar or Walvis to fetch our cargo. These things are DOABLE guys especially if and when our UNZA engineering graduates could put their “thick heads” together. They did it in Egypt, we can also do it in Zambia. With the current unemployment levels in the country, everyone including our women would be engaged and armed with Picks and shovels.

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  6. This is not important we have failed to maintained Zambia Railways and Tazara. Zambia Railways speed even a bicycle is faster. We would’ve invested in latest technology bullet trains using electricity from Livingston to Kitwe or Chingola connect to Solwezi to make our movement safe, faster and business. 2.3Billion is to much for that project US$6m per kilometer. Guys work up in Kenya and Nigeria good things are happening don’t just support any how. another IPIC. Another thing shipping. All ships comes from north direction so from Dar to Beira/Nacala it’s cost

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  7. Good move honorable, we need to open up Zed and make it the hub of transportation of goods. I agree that we also need to upgrade the existing system but both these actions can be done at the same time.

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  8. Goverment should consider also a constructing a road side by said with the railway line as the will spare motorist travelling from Serenje to Chipata via Lusaka almost 500km of fuel.

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    • i totally agree with u mr sontapo let them construct a road side by side with the rail line that will be great idea and it will be very economical and beneficial to all zambians

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  9. Goverment should consider also constructing a road side by said with the railway line as this will spare motorist travelling from Serenje to Chipata via Lusaka almost 500km worth of fuel.

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  10. This is obviously another loan. Where can they find that kind of money at such a time, when they can hardly pay civil service salaries?

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  11. this is great. we in petauke must see development. the road in mongu was never questioned now why question the railway in petauke? Eastern province has no university and football stadia. but others have. lets shares resources equally. we cannot be denied development just because lungu comes from petauke.

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  12. This is one way of stealing money. They have stolen money through roads now they want to steal from this type of projects.

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  13. “The new railway line between Ethiopia and Djibouti covering 752kms is one of the more than quite a few high-profile projects built at a cost of 3.4 billion US dollars”!!!

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  14. A definate white elephant. $2.3 billion for a rail line that will be hardly utilised. There already exist a link from Chipata to Nacala port which has never had a single wagon rolling in in the past three years. Let Zambia Railways challenge this comment.

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  15. I support infrastructure development BUT NOT THIS ONE which APPEARS POORLY THOUGHT OUT with NO REASONABLE ECONOMIC JUSTIFICATION! What ABOUT MODERNIZING OUR EXISTING RAIL INFRASTRUCTURE? For example,WHY NOT EXTEND LIVINGSTONE-MULOBEZI LINE TO LINK WITH NAMIBIA,ELECTRIFY IT ALL THE WAY TO THE COPPER BELT? Namibians do their part and we do ours? Then we see how it goes! WHY NOT FIND SOME MONEY AND PARTNER WITH KAVINDELE and do THE NWR where the DISTANCE TO BE COVERED IS SHORTER and it will link with ANGOLAN PORTS WHICH HAVE PREPARED LOGISTICS FOR TRANSIT TRADE TO LANDLOCKED COUNTRIES?? Why NOT LINK MPULUNGU TO TAZARA at NSELUKA so exports to GRT LAKES CAN USE TAZARA?? THINK PROPERLY!!

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  16. The make or break question is: Where is the business plan to show that this project is demand-driven? Who is going to pay to transport what, and at what cost to recoup the US$2.3bn loan+ interest?

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  17. But can someone please educate me, what sence is in constructing a rail line from Petauke through to Serenje passing through the mountainous Muchinga Escarpment, because it doesn’t make sense. Serenje already has Tazama passing there. What is ba Lungu trying to achieve even if its to have a train in his village.
    Am sure this the edvise of the disgraces RB his Chief Adviser.

    Citizens am sure have a right to oppose such development which don’t make sense

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  18. The average cost of laying a kilometer of railway is about US$ 2 MN thus serenje-chipata line is supposed to cost around US$ 900 MN including feasibility works. So can eclipse and his govt tell us as to how they arrived and agreed on such a colossal amount and tell us who will pocket our US$ 1.4 BN ? besides being questionable, what will this line be carrying anyway? If it is copper, then that deal must be called off now not tomorrow and instead do the chingola-jimbe line via solwezi and mwinilunga US$ 1 BN (estimated maximum cost) and not uneconomical tribal/regional rail lines

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