NO GOVT BAILOUT
…TAZARA is asked to fend for itself and pay salaries
THERE will be no government bailout this time for the Tanzania- Zambia Railways (TAZARA), it has to fend for itself and pay employee salaries following the conducive business environment government has created in the sector, Minister of Transport and Communication Brian Mushimba has said. This follows TAZARA's failure to pay employees their September and October salaries. Mr Mushimba said TAZARA could, however, not continue approaching government to request for a bailout all the time. He reiterated that the railway company needed to do more to raise and manage its own salaries without asking for help. Mr Mushimba said in an interview that the treasury was under a lot of stress because of parastatals such as TAZARA that had failed to turn around fast enough to start paying for their operating costs. He said TAZARA had managed to pay June and July salaries without any help wondered why they should fail this time. Mr Mushimba said that government had created an enabling environment which should see the railway transport sub-sector become viable by now. He said was because of the enabling environment that TAZARA had managed to settle its June and July obligations. “The fact that TAZARA has stepped up and started paying its salaries like they did in June and July is a good sign. TAZARA cannot continue on a path of coming to government all the time to ask for a bailout. The treasury is under a lot of stress because of such parastatals,” he said. The minister urged TAZARA management to priotise their spending of the money it was collecting from its increased revenue. He stated that with the signing of a statutory Instrument to move 30 percent of heavy and bulk cargo by rail, there had been increased business for TAZARA. Mr Mushimba also disclosed that TAZARA had entered into agreements with Calabash to bring more locomotives because the company was complaining that it had more business but less equipment to meet the demand.