Transport Minister Brian Mushimba
Transport Minister Brian Mushimba

Government says it has created a Railway Development Agency ( RDA) to facilitate the separation of railway infrastructure and maintenance from railway operations.

Minister of Transport and Communications Brian Mushimba says this is aimed at allowing Zambia Railways Limited ( ZRL ) to focus on running its business operations competitively and in a sustainable manner being bogged down into costly maintenance of the permanent way.

Mr. Mushimba says this part of government’s reforms of the railway transport including the introduction of the quota system for bulk cargo which he said will compel bulk transporter of various categories of cargo to transport a minimum of 30 percent of cargo by railway.

He added that government has also under the reforms come up with promotion of Public Private partnership between the Zambia Railways Limited and other Railway operators in the SADC region such as Trans-net.

Mr. Mushimba said the initiative was also aimed at promoting private Railway Operators to ply on the ZRL permanent way at an access fee.

” These reforms are aimed at transforming the ZRL into a viable competitive, reliable and safe railway operator, ” he said.

The Minister said this at the inauguration session of the new board of Directors of Zambia Railways Limited ( ZRL ) held at the railway firm’s corporate office in Lusaka, this morning.

Mr. Mushimba said as principal body responsible for corporate governance of the ZRL, he will expect the new board to represent the government and stakeholders interest in the transformation process of the railway firm.

He also noted that following the nullification of the concession with the Railway System of Zambia ( RSZ) five years ago in 2012, government has seen an eighteen percent growth in the traffic of the ZRL.

Mr. Mushimba said this was as a result of government’s strategic focus of the railway sector which he said was bearing fruit adding that arising from recapitalization efforts by the railway company, the operation network has also grown by 44 percent after the commencement of operation on the Nacala Corridor and the revival of its operation in the inter-mine region on the Copperbelt province.

He also noted that in the section where full track rehabilitation has been undertaken by the ZRL, freight trains are now able to run at an average speed of 50 kilometers per hour.

” There is however a lot more ground to be covered especially in relation to the transformation of the Zambia Railways. The major task is the implementation of a full rehabilitation and upgrade of the railway infrastructure to reach our ( government’s ) desired speed of 80 kilometers per hour for freight trains and , 120 kilometers per hour for passenger trains, ” he said.

Mr. Mushimba said to achieve this, there was need to come up with result based performance management contract with the new ZRL Board for the purposes measuring the contribution of the Board of Directors towards the attainment of the company’s strategic goals and objectives.

The new board is led by Lawyer Mr. Linyama Lubinda, Dr Getrude Akapelwa, Dr Evans Chabala, Mr Robert Mutonga, Mr. Nicholas Chinkwenya and a Mr C. Musonda.

And Mr. Lubinda later said his Board will work hard to ensure that the national railway company operates and delivers to the expectations of government and the people of Zambia.

He said his board would ensure that ZRL management and staff operate in set standards adding that their performance would be reviewed as regularly as possible to ensure the viability of the railway company.

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23 COMMENTS

    • Why not just create Transport Infrastructure Development Agency (TIDA) to manage all airports, roads, rail, footpaths, etc. Or just let ministries start working.

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  1. A MIXTURE OF GOOD AND BAD DECISIONS! GOOD DECISIONS:1) introduction of the quota system for bulk cargo which he said will compel bulk transporter of various categories of cargo to transport a minimum of 30 percent of cargo by railway 2)under the reforms come up with promotion of Public Private partnership between the Zambia Railways Limited and other Railway operators in the SADC region such as Trans-net 3)..initiative was also aimed at promoting private Railway Operators to ply on the ZRL permanent way at an access fee-BUT WHICH PRIVATE OPERATORS ARE THESE, THOSE TO COME LATER?? BAD DECISION:Government says it has created a Railway Development Agency ( RDA) to facilitate the separation of railway infrastructure and maintenance from railway operations- THIS IS AN ADDED LAYER OF COST AND…

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  2. continued…THIS IS AN ADDED LAYER OF COST AND BUREAUCRACY, OUR RAILWAY INFRASTRUCTURE IS NOT SO VAST TO WARRANT THIS SEPARATION! Maintenance and operations are already Departments in ZRL just look at internal process improvements rather than creating additional structures to sack resources and make railway operations even more costly before its efficiency improves!! Good decision but..:Mr. Mushimba said to achieve this, there was need to come up with result based performance management contract with the new ZRL Board for the purposes measuring the contribution of the Board of Directors-HOW ARE WE GOING TO ENSURE THAT THE MINISTERS FIRES THEM WHEN HE STILL HAS POWERS TO KEEP THEM REGARDLESS!!

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    • flag bwafyaa – Unlike the clueless bloggers whose preoccupation is to criticize everything government, you have read the article and come up with points of argument – good job.

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    • Ba abilima, why do you bilima to point at others as clueless. You forget that three fingers are pointing at you. E.g. you call bwafyaa as “flag bwafyaa”. Here is a clue, the word “flag” appears only because his flag cannot load on this blog. It is not him/her who wrote it. So you get the clue?

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  3. CONTINUE ROUTING OUR RESOURCES. THAT IS WHAT YOU DO BORROWING WITHOUT THINKING ABOUT THE OUTCOME ON YOUR CITIZENS.

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  4. Another RDA.. You couldn’t find an alternative name to avoid confusing it with the other RDA for Roads??? Sometimes why do we stop thinking…

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    • IT COULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD IDEA TO AVOID FUTURE CONFUSION BY GIVING IT A DIFFERENT NAME. NINSHI BRAIN STORMING WAS JUST ROVING AROUND THE ALREADY RDA?

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    • SPAKA…fimofimo, DIFFERENTIATE A RAIL LINE FROM AN AIRLINE. ZAMBIA NEEDS AN AIRLINE- AS SIMPLE AS THAT. JUST LIKE ZAMBIA NEEDS FAST (SUPER TRAINS) ELECTRICAL TRAINS AND NOT THE 50KM/HOUR TRAINS IN THIS DAY AND AGE.

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    • Peter

      There is some thing called priorities , Zambia needs a lot a of things, its a matter of priorities, you can’t have them all.

      Will that air line benefit the poor traders who trade across Zambia? Will that air line carry goods across Zambia to decongest our roads ? Will that airline carry passengers across Zambia who are dying like flies in the buses ? The answer is no, that airline is for the rich.

      You fail to run a single line rail….and you want to spend money of planes including a jet for lungu ? if all efforts were used to improve the rail first including haveing double lines then you can have your planes…….

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  5. “And Mr. Lubinda later said his Board will work hard to ensure that the national railway company operates and delivers to the expectations of government and the people of Zambia.”
    ZAMBIANS, PLEASE, LET’S LEARN TO ATTACH TIME SCALE ON EVERY AMBITION OTHERWISE CITIZENS WILL BE WAITING FOREVER TO ACHIEVE (80Km AND 120Km)/HOUR FOR GOODS AND PASSENGER TRAINS, RESPECTIVELY. ELECTRIFICATION OF TRAINSIS NOT AN OPTION.

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  6. Why is it that every GOVERNMENT and MINISTER that goes in TALK OF REFORMS ? It seems a household name in every ministry and reforms means creating more jobs , declare others redundant. In health its all reforms, agric, gender, railways aiya we need results PLEASE

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  7. We hope to see an improvement in the rail network. There has been too much concentration on roads. Countries that have greatly reduced traffic congestion have a very effective railway network

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  8. Whatever it is please don’t call it RDA try RADA to avoid mistaking it for the ever corrupt Road DA.

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