MINISTER of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Yamfwa Mukanga has challenged some sections of society alleging that Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) has misappropriated US$120 million of the US$750 million Eurobond to provide evidence.
Last year, Zambia issued a US$750 million Eurobond, which attracted the largest order book for an inaugural sub-Saharan sovereign bond.
The country joined other African countries such as South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Gabon, Senegal and Namibia which have issued similar bonds on the international market.
Mr Mukanga said he is happy with the manner in which ZRL management led by chief executive officer Muyenga Atanga is utilising the US$120 million.
He said ZRL is rehabilitating the railway line from Livingstone to Chililabombwe.
Speaking when he featured on a special programme on Kabwe’s KNC radio on Sunday, Mr Mukanga said those claiming that ZRL has misapplied the funds should be honest and provide credible evidence.
“I think the problem we have in Zambia is that everybody can say what they think and get from the grapevine.
“I do not have figures to deny but they are doing all they can as management to ensure that the works are done accordingly, and we are also carrying audits frequently to ensure that our money has been safeguarded,” Mr Mukanga said.
He also said he has heard the alleged misappropriation of funds at ZRL from the “grapevine”.
He said the Office of the Auditor General will soon audit ZRL and it will be established whether funds have been misappropriated.
Mr Mukanga reiterated that Government is committed to reviving the railway sector and this is why it is supporting ZRL through the US$120 million allocation from the Eurobond.
He also said Government plans to increase railway routes to open up Zambia and link the local railway network to neighbouring countries such as Angola.
On the national airline, Mr Mukanga said a technical committee has been constituted to work on establishing the national airline.
“We want to have a national airline to ensure that we return to those days where we used to fly like any nation…we will avoid what happened years ago and we are handling the matter systemically and cautiously,” Mr Mukanga said.
He said some international airlines and plane manufacturers are willing to partner with Zambia to re-introduce a national airline
“Government will not be derailed. We want to ensure that Zambia has a national flag carrier,” Mr Mukanga said.