NRZ readies to move more grain Embarks on wagon refurbishment programme
THE National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has embarked on a wagon refurbishment programme with about 60 wagons set for rehabilitation parastatal positions imports.
Zimbabwe is suffering the impact of a drought caused by the El-Nino phenomenon. This has prompted the Government to import maize from South Africa, Zambia this quarter as the itself to move grain and South America.
Zimbabwe needs slightly above 1,3 million tonnes of maize annually.
NRZ board chairman Mr Larry Mavima in an interview yesterday said:
“We’ve embarked on a programme to refurbish our wagons to improve our efficiency as we move grain into the country.
“During this quarter, we’ll refurbish about 60 wagons and five diesel locomotives.
“The rehabilitation of the wagons is being done through two Public-Private Partnership arrangements that NRZ recently entered with some local companies.”
Since the beginning of the grain importation programme by the Government early this year, NRZ has so far moved more than 200 000 tonnes of maize and is targeting to move between 700 000 tonnes and one million tonnes.
The Government has, due to the drought, been forced to reduce its economic growth forecast for this year to 1,5 percent from the initial projection of 3.2 percent.
In June, the United Nations World Food Programme said output in Zimbabwe would fall below 60 percent of the five-year average of between 700,000 and one million tonnes.
“Due to grain imports in the country, as the railways we’ve of late become a bit busy. And we think the maize imports that are coming through should keep us as NRZ going up to about November.
“We’ve just moved 10 000 tonnes of grain that came through Beira and Maputo corridors recently.
“We’re looking forward to moving another 10 000 tonnes soon.”
The ailing parastatal requires about $1,9 billion in the long-term to fully recapitalise its operations. It is struggling to offset its legacy debt of about $144 million owed to various creditors.
Last month, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo said NRZ has attracted a number of potential investors across the globe including Europe and Asia to partner it in resuscitating its operations. — @okazunga
Mr Larry Mavima