MINISTER of Transport and Logistics Frank Tayali says Zambia Railways Limited is a strategic institution that cannot be allowed to die.
The Minister said this yesterday after meeting at the Zambia Railways Limited Regional Office Senior Management staff led by Board Chairperson Dr. Evans Chabala and Chief Executive Officer Christopher Musonda.
Hon. Tayali was accompanied by Acting Permanent Secretary Mr. STEPHEN MBEWE and other Senior Ministry officials on his continued familiarisation tour of the Departments and institutions under his Ministry.
The Minister said it was amazing to note that despite the hardships that the company has gone through, it is still staying afloat, all because the management team is determined to soldier on.
He said there has been reports of the truck speed going as low as 15 kilometres per hour and operating with only four locomotives but is glad to not that there is a lot of interest shown in the company by other players that want to partner with the railway firm.
The Minister added that the interest being shown is due to the policy direction that His Excellency Mr. HAKAINDE HICHILEMA President of the Republic of Zambia has given on how best to save the road network.
He said this sits well with what Government envisages and he is hopeful that progress will be made.
He however, noted with dismay that it was disheartening that attempts that were made previously that US$120 million meant to have been secured for
never went for intended purpose of rehabilitation programme of the facilities in the institution.
The Minister observed that as a country, Zambia has done a lot especially that post-independence, the country has been trend setters in the region but along the way, there seems to have been a drop hence the need to reclaiming its position as leaders.
Later the Minister was taken on an on-the-spot tour of the rail track from the Main Rail Station to Ngwerere area where along the way he was show how rampant illegal land encroachment has been in the recent.
The Minister said since the wrong has been committed, the New Dawn Administration will have to find an amicable solution in resolving the illegality that could have been perpetrated by political interference.
He said the law has to be respected by Zambians regardless of status in society.