Ketra Kalunga writes
WE need about US $ 922million to fully recapitalize the railway system and improve our bulk capacity and general operations in line with our new five year strategic plan, says Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) chief executive officer, Christopher Musonda.
Mr Musonda said the amount required is for buying new machinery in order to be at par with new technology and ultimately improve the rolling stock and increase productivity.
Speaking when Central Province Permanent Secretary (PS), Bernard Chombo, toured the company headquarters in Kabwe yesterday, Mr Musonda said the old machinery was difficult to maintain as it was no longer on the market.
“As ZRL we have the machinery but it’s old and difficult to maintain because it’s not the type currently on the market, so spares are not there, so part of the US$922 million will go to buying of new machinery,” said Mr Musonda.
But the permanent secretary challenges the ZRL management to be innovative instead of relying too much on funding from government.
Mr Chombo explained that given the current economic situation in the country, funding to the institution would take time to come hence the need for management to think outside the box.
He challenged the ZRL management to work hard and bring back the company’s lost glory because it still had the potential.
“Don’t relay too much on recapitalization, the country’s economy is not too good so that may take some time so be innovative and revive the railway system, you have the capacity,” said Mr Chomba.
He said urged the management to take advantage of the new technology on the market and partner with other railways companies which were doing fine globally.
Mr Chomba stated that it was only the Zambians that would develop their country and that it could only happen if the country stood above its challenges.
He pledge the provincial administration’s support to the institution in order to revamp the company.
“ZRL has a rich history, work hard to revive it. Work as a team and stand over the challenges, said Mr Chomba.