— Govt scouts for US$34 million to revamp Tazara operations

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— Transport, Works, Supply and Communications minister Yamfwa Mukanga says his ministry is scouting for US$34 million in order to revamp the operations of Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA).



Mr  Mukanga says the Zambian government through the Ministry of Finance has so far already mobilized US$6 million toward the project.



The minister disclosed that the Council of Ministers involving Tanzania and Zambia have approved that the two countries running the rail transport raises US$34 million each to revive TAZARA .


ZANIS reports that the minister said this in an interview in Lusaka today.


“The Zambian Government is more than read to revive TAZARA. My ministry is scouting for US$34m from the Ministry of Finance and as l am talking to you, we already have got US$6m.



“  I’m just waiting for a comprehensive statement from my colleague Mr. Harrison Mwakyembe in Tanzania on how far his government has gone in sourcing for the moneys,” Mr. Mukanga said. 


Mr. Mukanga said part of the negotiations were to ensure that TAZARA further reaches Livingstone from Nakonde town in Muchinga province.



He said he is awaiting a comprehensive statement from the Tanzanian Government on how far it has gone is sourcing for the funds (US$34m).



He declared that the Government would not allow the collapse of TAZARA as that would not help the nation in anyway, but would be detrimental to the development of Zambia.



He said the founding Father of Zambia and one of the founders of the Authority Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda, would be delighted to receive the news about the planned reconstruction of TAZARA which the Chinese Government have pledged to help.



Recently, Vice President of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Mr. Zhao Zhongning who visited Zambia surveyed the co-state-owned company constructed in the 1970s and got a documentary and history of TAZARA with the aim of bringing back to life.


On reviving the local Zambia-Railways Limited (ZRL), Mr. Mukanga said government has allocated US$120 million from the Euro-bond loan obtained by government.


The minister said government was concerned about the state of infrastructure of ZRL.