5 firms show in­ter­est in NRZ rail re­hab

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Harare Bureau

AT least five com­pa­nies have ex­pressed in­ter­est to re­ha­bil­i­tate and con­nect the coun­try’s rail­way net­work to sea ports in the re­gion.

Some of the com­pa­nies that are in­ter­ested in the project are from South Africa and China.

Trans­port and In­fras­truc­tural Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Dr Jo­ram Gumbo said fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies were al­ready un­der­way on the projects that Govern­ment wanted to start as soon as pos­si­ble.

“We want to re­ha­bil­i­tate the rail­way line from Vic­to­ria Falls via Bu­l­awayo and Harare to Mutare,” said Dr Gumbo.

“A Chi­nese com­pany has al­ready con­ducted a fea­si­bil­ity study from Vic­to­ria Falls to Msasa in Harare but we have said we won’t en­ter­tain them un­til they carry out the fea­si­bil­ity study up to Mutare. They are now in the process of con­duct­ing that fea­si­bil­ity study,” said Dr Gumbo.

“We also want a work­ing rail net­work from Somab­hula (in Mid­lands) to Ma­puto. Re­mem­ber Somab­hula is the rail junc­tion that links us to Mozam­bique and South Africa.”

Dr Gumbo said Govern­ment was also dis­cussing with Zam­bia the pos­si­bil­i­ties of a joint ven­ture rail­way sys­tem re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion from Zam­bia. Ef­forts were also un­der­way to con­struct a rail­way line from Hwange through Sengwa and Lion’s Den to the Port of Na­cala in north­ern Mozam­bique, he said.

The Na­cala rail­way sys­tem con­nects Malawi and some cities in Mozam­bique with the Port of Na­cala.

The min­is­ter said the rail­way line was strate­gic in trans­port­ing coal de­posits from Sengwa while other rail­way lines would help link the coun­try with other ports in the re­gion.

Dr Gumbo said with Govern­ment adopt­ing com­mand agri­cul­ture, it was ex­pected that there would be ex­cess pro­duc­tion, which would al­low the coun­try to ex­port to neigh­bour­ing coun­tries through a vi­brant rail­way net­work.

He said it was im­por­tant that Govern­ment re­ha­bil­i­tated its rail­way net­work, which would at­tract tran­sit busi­ness.

With­out a vi­brant rail­way net­work, Dr Gumbo said, Zim­babwe would con­tinue to lose tran­sit busi­ness.

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