GOVERNMENT will take the necessary steps to save the Tanzania Zambia Railway (TAZARA) from collapse, Transport, Supply, Works and Communications, Yamfwa Mukanga has said.
Mr Mukanga said Government will not allow the collapse of TAZARA and that efforts would be made to ensure that the railway firm operated at its best again.
The Minister said this when China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) vice president Zhao Zhongning called on him.
“It is the desire of the Government to ensure that TAZARA improves its operations and it would be illogical for Zambia to let the railway firm collapse because there are a lot of logistical challenges which need the services of TAZARA,” he said.
This is contained in a statement released by TAZARA head of public relations Conrad Simuchile yesterday.
Mr Mukanga said TAZARA had not only played a key role in the development of the Zambia, but was also good for fostering good relationships with neighbouring countries.
It was the wish of Government to ensure that the TAZARA line was connected and interlinked to many parts of the country in order to enable the railway line become viable within the country through local operations.
“It is for that reason that there are plans by the Zambian government to construct railway spurs to link TAZARA to Mpulungu from Nseluka and to Chipata from Mpika,” Mr Mukanga said.
As construction and rehabilitation of the road infrastructure was going on, it was also necessary to work on the railway network because without functional railways, the roads would continue getting damaged.
Meanwhile, Mr Zhao said he was aware that the Chinese Government’s willingness to reconstruct TAZARA.
Mr Zhao later proceeded to meet Transport, Supply, Works and Communications deputy minister Panji Kaunda, who said that he was excited to hear that the Chinese were willing to reconstruct TAZARA and was looking forward to the day when the rebirth of the firm would be announced.
CCECC is the Chinese state company that surveyed and constructed TAZARA in the 1970’s and Mr Zhao was in the country with television crew to record a documentary on the history of the railway company.
Zambia and Tanzania this year released US$80 million to salvage TAZARA for collapse.
Times of Zambia