THE Tanzanian government has pledged to release K32.8 million (6 billion shillings) to revamp the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA), which is currently financially constrained.
As of September 2015, the Tanzanian government has also confirmed that all TAZARA employees have been put on the civil service pay-roll.
Tanzanian permanent secretary of transport Shaaban Mwinjaka made these pronouncements on Saturday when he addressed over 300 TAZARA workers in Dar-es-Salaam.
In a statement released yesterday by TAZARA head of public relations Conrad Simuchile, Dr Mwinjaka said the money would be released in the next two weeks.
He said the Tanzanian and Zambian governments are both determined to revamp TAZARA.
“The Tanzanian government had agreed to release six billion shillings as part of recapitalisation, specifically for the purchase of fuel, maintenance of the track, repair of Kongolo quarry and repair of locomotives and coaches,” Dr Mwinjaka said.
The address came in the wake of demands by unionised employees of TAZARA to be addressed by President Jakaya Kikwete following failure by the authority to clear outstanding salary arrears.
At the same meeting, Tanzania chief secretary Ombeni Sefuwe told the workers that the Tanzanian and Zambian governments attach a lot of importance to TAZARA and would never allow the company to collapse.
“The company has a very critical role to play in the economies of the two countries…TAZARA is a symbol of true friendship and co-operation amongst the countries of China, Tanzania and Zambia and it has a critical role to play in the economies of Tanzania and Zambia,” Mr Sefuwe said.
He said despite the many challenges the authority is currently facing, the two governments are committed and determined to ensure the challenges are permanently addressed.
“I thank you for your patience and for enduring months without payment of salaries, but I promise you that the matter will be permanently addressed alongside the recapitalisation of the authority,” Mr Sefuwe said.