Government has plans of re-capitalizing the Tanzania Zambia Railways Authority (TAZARA) and funds have been set aside for the re-capitalization of the railway company.
Mr Tayali said government has set aside K57 Million Kwacha in this year’s budget for the re-capitalization of the company.
Minister of Transport and Logistics Frank Tayali disclosed this in an interview with the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) in Mpika yesterday.
Mr Tayali added that TAZARA is currently operating only Eight (8) locomotives saying it is below the expected number that can enable the company to move necessary cargo to break even.
“We are in serious talks with China, a partner who can bring not only the technical knowhow but also the commercial knowledge of how we can top into the huge freight capacity, Dar-re-salaam has built for itself,” said Mr Tayali.
The Minister also pointed out that the Great North Road has not less than 2000 trucks driving from Kasumbalesa and Dar-lesalam in Tanzania on a daily basis.
Mr Tayali added that TAZARA has so much business potential adding that to achieve the potential, there is need for a mindset change among the workers.
And TAZARA Managing Director Bruno Ching’andu appealed to government to come up with a lasting solution to the employee salary challenge.
Mr Ching’andu has welcomed the idea of re-capitalizing TAZARA as it will enable the company to deal with the many challenges being faced.
” The second issue l would like to talk about from deep down my heart and on behalf of the workers, is the fact that, all the salary arrears of the workers have been sorted out up to December and this has brought dignity among TAZARA families,” said Mr Ching’andu.
Mr Ching’andu said TAZARA has only eight (8) locomotives which are useful freight, hence it’s very difficult to raise the tonnage needed to break even.
” For us to break even, we need 600,000 metric tonnes per year, the eight locomotives can only produce 200,000 metric tonnes per year which is just a third of what is needed to break even,” said Mr Ching’andu.
And Mpika District Commissioner David Siame said he is happy that TAZARA employees have been receiving their salaries from government.
Mr Siame further said that there is need for a lasting solution to the plight of employees’ salaries so that the railway company can begin to flourish.
“Once TAZARA is capitalized, the lives of employees and their families will improve thereby bringing development to the nation,” said Mr. Siame.