Zambia Railways road to recovery gets $51m boost

ZAMBIA Railways
ZAMBIA Railways
ZAMBIA Railways Limited (ZRL) has signed a US$51 million contract for a state-of-the-art signalling and telecommunication project, the only one of its kind in southern Africa.
The project will be jointly undertaken by a renowned international company Bombadier and Huawei and a local company GMC Technologies.
ZRL chief executive officer Muyenga Atanga described the signing ceremony as a giant step towards bringing back the lost glory of the railway company.
The US$51 million is part of the US$120 million Eurobond that Government has secured.
“When we started, people doubted us but now we are out of the intensive care unit and on a growth path,” Prof Atanga said.
He said the signalling and telecommunication project to be rolled out in a two-year period will enhance safety on the railway line as the trains will be moving at a speed of 70-80kms per hour.
“We were like a child who was almost dying but now we are very happy that this great asset – ZRL – which belongs to Zambians is back to life,” Prof Atanga said amid cheers of approval from his members of staff.
Earlier, Bombadier head of Sub-Saharan Africa Rail Control Solutions Valentine Paramasivam said railway systems are fundamental to the economic development of any nation.
Mr Paramasivam said its technology which is a computerised radio-based communication system will be the first in the region and his company will set up a base in Zambia.
Mr Paramasivam said the radio equipment is for transmission of data, voice and videos.
Huawei managing director Spawn Wen said the project is a milestone in railway transport and that the company is up to the task.
GMC technologies managing director Rocky Chiyungi said the company will employ over 100 people during the implementation of the project.
Mr Chiyungi said GMC technologies will ensure that it does a quality job.
stabbed intelligence officer battles for life
A ZAMBIA Security Intelligence Services (ZSIS) officer in Kaoma district in Western Province is battling for her life in hospital after she was stabbed several times by a lone assailant at her home.
Ngoza Banda was allegedly attacked by an unknown person who entered her house on Wednesday afternoon in unclear circumstances and stabbed her several times.
Western Province commissioner of police Lombe Kamukoshi confirmed receiving the report but could not immediately give further details.
Ms Kamukoshi, however, said she will dispatch a team of police officers to the area to investigate and ascertain the motive behind the attack.
A Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) team which rushed to Kaoma District Hospital where Ms Banda is admitted, however, failed to get a comment from her because she was heavily sedated.-ZANIS.