THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT
RESOLUTIONS OF THE 60TH TAZARA COUNCIL OF MINISTERS MEETING, HELD IN LUSAKA , ZAMBIA, ON 4TH JULY, 2014
The Council of Ministers for the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) comprising of Ministers for Transport, Finance and Commerce from the Governments of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Zambia, held its 60th meeting in the City of Lusaka, Zambia, on 4th July 2014.
On 14th July 2014, the Minister of Transport for the United Republic of Tanzania, Hon. Dr Harrison Mwakyembe, held a press conference at which he informed the media concerning the resolutions of the Council. However, it has been observed that some of the media misquoted the Minister and transmitted information that is not correct.
Therefore, the Ministry would like to take this opportunity to clarify the resolutions of the TAZARA Council of Ministers as follows:
Article 4 Section (iv) of the TAZARA Act No.4 of 1995, provides for the establishment of regions in Tanzania and Zambia to operate commercially. However, has not been fully implemented in the past because, currently, only revenue earned from Passenger services is directed to the regions.
The TAZARA Council of Ministers directed that effective 1st August, 2014, TAZARA Head Office should decentralize powers to the regions (Tanzania and Zambia) and this arrangement shall be monitored for a period of six months and reviewed there after.
In the decentralized arrangement, the regions shall be empowered to be productive and operate more commercially, whilst the Head office shall remain with the role of policy making, regulation, control and supervision.
It must be noted that the ownership of TAZARA remains unitary, contrary to interpretations by many that Tanzania and Zambia are splitting the railway. It must also be noted that the freight trains will continue to run from Dar es Salaam to New Kapiri Mposhi, and vice versa, as the case has been in the past.
(ii) TAZARA Budget for the Year 2014/15
The TAZARA Council of Ministers approved the injection of USD80 million into the TAZARA budget for the year 2014/2015. This amount will be equally funded by the Governments of Tanzania and Zambia for the purpose of recapitalization and working capital over a period of one year. Out of the allocated funding, USD9.2 million would be released immediately for clearing of workers’ salary arrears, fuel for train operations and repair of quarry machinery.
(iii) Acting Positions for Senior TAZARA Officers
The process of appointing and confirming officers in higher positions for TAZARA, which include the positions of the Managing Director, Deputy Managing Director and six other managers who are appointed by the Board of Directors, was ongoing and expected to be concluded at the Extra-Ordinary Board Meeting to be held in August 2014.
(iv) Passenger Train Services
In order to serve the nationals where the TAZARA railway passes more efficiently, The TAZARA Council of Ministers resolved to commence passenger train services within the regions (Tanzania and Zambia). On the part of Tanzania, TAZARA shall operate a passenger train from Dar es Salaam to Mbeya and also serve the citizens in the area between Kidato and Makambako who have no other means of transport. On the Zambian side, TAZARA shall operate a passenger train service from Nakonde to New Kapiri Mposhi and, in addition, Zambia Railways Limited shall run a passenger train service between Kitwe and Nakonde.
(v) Amendment of TAZARA ACT of 1995
The TAZARA Council of Ministers directed a Joint (TAZARA Act Review) Technical Committee of Tanzania and Zambia to meet in the second week of August, 2014 and submit their proposals to the Extra Ordinary TAZARA Board and Council of Ministers to be held in Dar es Salaam at the end of August 2014.
Dr. Shaaban R. Mwinjaka