Zambia Railways rolls out 1,000kms

ZAMBIA Railways Limited (ZRL) has inked a deal with 32 local contractors to rehabilitate the 1,062 kilometres of its rail line from Chililabombwe to Livingstone.
ZRL chief executive officer Muyenga Atanga said in Lusaka yesterday that money for the contractual work will be drawn from the US$120 million Eurobond the railway company received from Government.
Professor Atanga said the company deliberately made a policy that the rail line would be rehabilitated by local companies following complaints last year.
“Can you, as local contractors, demonstrate to us that you are capable of working and creating jobs for your fellow citizens?” he said.
Prof Atanga said 10 percent of the labour force must include women and each company must have a minimum of 100 employees and ensure that they are paid above the minimum wage.
“Women demonstrated in Chipata that they are capable of working on rail lines when they worked on the 24 kilometres of the Muchinji railway. So ensure that women are included,” he said.
Prof Atanga assured the contractors that money is readily available and payments will be made on time.
“We are aware that most of you do not have the actual capacity. So through our discretion, we will pay you once you do one kilometre. But the more kilometres you do, the more money you will have,” he said.
Prof Atanga said 1,000 sleepers and fastener clips have already been procured by the company.
However, Prof Atanga expressed concern on the increasing cases of vandalism and theft.
“We are now carrying out investigations on the Copperbelt where we recovered 20 kilogrammes of slippers,” he said.
Prof Atanga implored the contractors to do an impressive job because the rail company has major projects in Mulobezi, Mpika and other parts of the country.
The contractors have been drawn from Chililabombwe, Chingola, Choma, Kabwe, Lusaka, Ndola, Kitwe and Kapiri Mposhi.

Daily Mail