Ban haulage trucks: Zimra

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle -

THE Zim­babwe Rev­enue Au­thor­ity (Zimra) has urged the Gov­ern­ment to con­sider ban­ning long-haul road freight as it causes con­ges­tion at the coun­try’s bor­der posts and dam­ages the road net­work.

Zimra of­fi­cial Mr Robert Mang­wiro, who was speak­ing on be­half of act­ing Com­mis­sioner-Gen­eral Mr Hap­pias Kuzv­inzwa, said de­spite the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the one-stop bor­der sys­tem at bor­der posts such as Chirundu, long queues of haulage trucks were still com­mon.

“The Gov­ern­ment could con­sider ban­ning long-haul road freight as it causes dam­ages to the road net­work and con­ges­tion at our bor­ders.

“Elim­i­nat­ing or re­duc­ing the num­ber of haulage trucks on the road will help de­con­gest our bor­ders,” he said.

“It will also be crit­i­cal in boost­ing the role of the Na­tional Rail­ways of Zim­babwe (NRZ) giv­ing it sig­nif­i­cant busi­ness.”

His sen­ti­ments were backed by the chair­per­son of the Par­lia­men­tary Port­fo­lio Com­mit­tee on Trans­port Dex­ter Nduna who said such a move would pro­vide a boon for the NRZ.

“Cur­rently NRZ can reach 60 per­cent util­i­sa­tion of its ca­pac­ity, so we be­lieve in all hon­esty that Min­istry of Trans­port should put in place a statu­tory In­stru­ment that re­move bulk trans­porta­tion off the roads and put them on rail.

“Let us utilise NRZ’s 60 per­cent ca­pac­ity, which is not be­ing utilised by hav­ing a quota from all trans­porters go­ing to NRZ and slowly, but surely we will en­hance their ef­fi­ciency,” Nduna said.

Trans­port and In­fras­truc­tural Devel­op­ment — Min­is­ter Jo­ram Gumbo has al­ready hinted plans to ban haulage trucks. He said in July that a le­gal in­stru­ment is be­ing crafted to ban the trans­porta­tion of bulky goods by road in or­der to pro­tect the coun­try’s road net­work and boost Na­tional Rail­ways of Zim­babwe (NRZ) oper­a­tions.

The ail­ing paras­tatal faces stiff com­pe­ti­tion from haulage truck op­er­a­tors, which have also been blamed for the spate of ac­ci­dents in the coun­try.

Gumbo has said if al­lowed to ply the coun­try’s roads, haulage trucks would con­tinue dam­ag­ing roads.

He said if im­ple­mented, the S.I. would go a long way in pro­tect­ing the Na­tional Rail­ways of Zim­babwe.

“Ac­tu­ally we’re plan­ning to have a Statu­tory In­stru­ment to out­law bulky goods trans­porta­tion by road to rail be­cause if we al­low big trucks to ply our roads they will be de­stroy­ing our roads and there will be con­tin­u­ous re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of the roads.

“The NRZ has been very badly in­ca­pac­i­tated and as a re­sult those who would have wanted to move their goods have re­sorted to us­ing roads,” said Min­is­ter Gumbo then.

He said the ban­ning of bulky trans­porta­tion of goods by road is not pe­cu­liar to Zim­babwe as it has hap­pened in some Sadc coun­tries.

“It’s (bulky trans­porta­tion by road) ac­tu­ally a tem­po­rary is­sue which we’re go­ing to ad­dress and ac­tu­ally ring fence some of the bulky trans­porta­tion to the rail­ways.

“It hap­pens in Sadc and we’ll not be the only ones but for now that’s the pre­vail­ing sit­u­a­tion,” Min­is­ter Gumbo said.

The NRZ, which re­cently ap­pointed Deloitte and Touche as trans­ac­tion ad­vi­sors to push its cap­i­tal rais­ing ex­er­cise both lo­cally and off­shore, has 168 lo­co­mo­tives, of which only 64,38 per­cent are cur­rently ser­vice­able.

Of­fi­cial fig­ures also show that 3 467 or 48 per­cent of its 7 255 wag­ons are op­er­a­tional.

The rail­ways car­rier is seek­ing $400 mil­lion for re-cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion. — BH24/Busi­ness Re­porter

The Zim­babwe Rev­enue Au­thor­ity (Zimra) has urged the Gov­ern­ment to con­sider ban­ning long-haul road freight as it dam­ages the road net­work. On­line pic­ture

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