The Chronicle

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

BU­L­AWAYO, Thurs­day, Au­gust 15, 1991 — The Na­tional Rail­ways of Zim­babwe (NRZ) last week joined those who say the Con­tainer De­pot (Pvt) Ltd fa­cil­i­ties in Bu­l­awayo are in­ad­e­quate to meet the ex­pected sharp in­crease in the flow of cargo to sup­port the economic re­form pro­gramme.

The ter­mi­nal fa­cil­i­ties have al­ready been con­demned by both im­porters and the Ship­ping and For­ward­ing Agents As­so­ci­a­tion of Zim­babwe 15mem­ber Mata­bele­land branch.

The NRZ has also been ac­cused of fail­ing to shunt wag­ons to the de­pot so that con­tain­ers can be checked be­fore be­ing de­liv­ered to im­porters.

Re­spond­ing to the ac­cu­sa­tions, NRZ pub­lic re­la­tions of­fi­cer Mrs Grace Lu­pepe ab­solved the rail­ways of any blame. “It must be clearly un­der­stood that the con­tainer ter­mi­nal in Bu­l­awayo is pri­vately owned,’’ she said.

Mrs Lu­pepe said the NRZ was aware of the de­pot’s lim­i­ta­tions. “The NRZ is aware of the de­lays which oc­cur at Con­dep and we are also un­happy about the de­lays.

“Con­dep was de­signed to han­dle a lim­ited ca­pac­ity of traf­fic and, with an up­surge in con­tainer traf­fic, the de­pot is fail­ing to cope,’’ said Mrs Lu­pepe.

She de­nied that NRZ was fail­ing to shunt wag­ons car­ry­ing vi­tal im­ports to the de­pot. “We are not fail­ing to shunt to the pri­vate sid­ing but the hold­ing ca­pac­ity is the de­ter­min­ing fac­tor. Be­cause of this some wag­ons were kept in the yard. Cus­toms clear­ance was an­other prob­lem,” she said.

“Con­tain­ers can­not be re­leased un­less they are cleared by cus­toms. If the con­tainer is held on the wagon af­ter the ex­piry of the free pe­riod, de­mur­rage ap­plies.’’

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