Botswana welcomes Zambia’s decision to move 30 per cent of the cargo from the roads to rail

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Botswana Railways Limited (BRL) has welcomed the Zambian Government’s decision to move 30 per cent of the cargo from the roads to rail.

BRL Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Leonard Makwinja, says the state of roads justifies the decision by the Zambian Government to move heavy cargo from roads to rail for the safety of the people.

ZANIS reports that Mr Makwinja said this during a joint media briefing with Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Christopher Musonda held at Shitima House in Kabwe today.

He says currently it is difficult to maintain the roads in the country because of the heavy traffic and the decision to move 30 per cent of the cargo from the roads to rail is welcome.

He disclosed that BRL is excited with the decision by the Zambian government and hope it will be able to assist since there is already a railway route from Bulawayo through Francis Town in Botswana onwards to South Africa.

Mr Makwinja who was accompanied by BRL Director of Business Development Steven Makuke, Operations Manager Mthulisi Lotshe and Technical Assistant to the CEO Edwin Machola was in the country on invitation by his Zambian counterpart to explore areas of collaboration in the locomotive industry.

Meanwhile, Mr Makwinja says BRL is enjoying good support from the Tswana government to develop a railway line that will join the Kazungula Bridge.

He says his organisation is moving fast in that direction and already doing the final studies and designs adding that the constructions are expected to commence within one year.

Mr Makwinja observed that the construction of the rail line up to the border with Zambia at Kazungula will be a game changer of the rail network in the region and expected to improve the movement freight and people.

And Mr Makwinja says Zambia has a lot of goods that can move by rail to Botswana especially the maize bran and molasses.

He says the Botswana is a cattle country but has been experiencing droughts year in and year out and needs the maize products as feed for the animals.

Speaking earlier, Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) Chief Executive Officer, (CEO) Christopher Musonda, said the Statutory Instrument (SI) that was issued by the government and has since been passed into law has put pressure on the rail industry.

Mr Musonda said as such there is need to create capacity as a way of responding to the 30 per cent increase of cargo to rail and that this requires discussions with the neighbouring railways.

He said the two entities have discussed areas related to the capacities of exchange of equipment such as locomotive wagons and areas of collaborations have been identified.

Mr Musonda said the two parties also looked at what commodities can be transiting between the two countries.

He further said particular attention was paid to how BRL manages assets such as land and buildings and was happy that the sister company had a model that can help address the issue of encroachment.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. ALWAYS LEARNING,APPLYING NOTHING!! After the SI has become law that is when you (ZRL)start negotiations, something you should have done well ahead so that with the coming of the SI you were going to be ready to just start moving cargo and benefit from the boom created by the law! Your colleagues have already designed and are ready construct the line to link Zambia directly to Botswana and the S.Africa- WHAT are your plans, ZRL?? When yours friends will be ready that is when you will start planning on this linkage?? A SLEEPING COUNTRY WE ARE!!

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    • Mr Makwinja … Believe it or not, except a handful of us Zambians seeing sense, some Zambians have been so blinded and out of touch with the world that they have heavily criticised this move.

      What we are going to do with such people is grab them by the ear!! They will thank us later!

      Tell some of the uneducated Zambians running their mouths and pharting all over the place. Mostly the Tongas, that pathetic tribe… if I were Lungu, I would be doing genocide on this pathetic clan.

      As I always say the Tongas brought it to themselves… poison the waters to Tonga land

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    • Mr Makwinja … Believe it or not, except a handful of us Zambians seeing sense, some Zambians have been so blinded and out of touch with the world that they have heavily criticised this move.

      What we are going to do with such people is grab them by the ear!! They will thank us later!

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    • If GRZ want Zambia railways (ZR) to make profit, make all copper cargo use train. How are we going to calculate the 30%? Zambian govt can collect revenue from the mines by forcing the copper trucks off road. These heavy trucks are causing damage to the roads. Just look at Kitwe-chingola road, the trucks carrying copper have destroyed that road because they are very heavy on the roads. If govt was serious like Australian Govt, ZR would be profitable and many of my friends in kabwe would be employed. The problem we have so many beneficiaries in the copper cartage business which include many politicians both Zambia and Zimbabwe. Mr Mugabe has many copper transport contracts in Zambia, congo, namibia etc so unfortunately our govt hands are tied.

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    • Hundreds of thousands of Eurobond $-Dollars was poured into Zambia Railways but looted by PF-Koswe cadres but ZRL is worse off after the Eurobond.

      Now ZRA wants me to pay for Eurobond by taxing me on rentals from my houses & apartments I built using my own sweat. MXXXXXM!!!

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  2. Since the time government changed from one mulparty state 2 democracy rails are abandoned what’s wrong these regimes? Late Data tried 2 raise it but after his death trains are no where 2 be seen we also need rails as roads not only buses

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    • The answer lies in what Professor Chirwa did, didn’t do or what happened to him. Once we know these then we will know why the company is struggling.

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    • No reasoning in your answer: they can’t be excited by prospects of a railine yet to be constructed let alone planned. For the next 10 or 20 years the bridge will be for road travel only. They stand to gain more from road travel. Think

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    • For the first time I agree with you. But the genesis of this problem started a long time back. It was just growing until it reached where we’re today. Trying to solve the problem overnight will only worsen the problem.

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  3. Firstly you sign an Si,then you start looking at other models(countys)and start looking for partners?the whole rail line needs rehabilitating and equally the signal equipment needs massive over hual and a state of the art security model put in place.otherwise,if you force people to use these trains,without addressing these issues,you will have law suits after law suits and legal entanglements by way of not delivering on time,loss of goods via accidents,(derailments)damges to goods in transit,thefts,down time etc.if its too risky,even the the insurance companys will not want to come to this kind of a party.otherwisenits a good initiative.

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