ZAMBIA RAILWAYS LIMITED COMPANY IN BAD SHAPE NEW BOARD REVEALS
Zambia Railways Limited new board Chairman Emmanuel Hachipuka says the company headquarters will not be shifted from Kabwe. Speaking when the board paid a courtesy on central province administration during the board’s first leg tour on friday, Hachipuka indicated that the company is in a bad shape and seeks government intervention in bringing the needed investments.
Hachipuka has since expressed disappointment in many of the adaptations that have taken place in the company over time. He says some of the decisions that were made to give access to operators who are not part of the company to operate on Zambia railways is a very serious decision. He wondered at what cabinet level such a decision was made where people can hire equipment, locomotives, wagons and run on the company’s line of rail.
The Chairman says the company needs money but that before it gets any money, it needs to look at its operations. Hachipuka has also disclosed that the company’s 800 employees are just surviving because they have jobs while giving less than 30% of value to the company. He discloses that the company is in pretty bad shape both financially, in terms of equipment, operations and that it can not be resurrected without the help of government and other investors.
Hachipuka has since appealed to Central Province administration to table matters of Zambia Railways Limited to investors and government in order to resuscitate the company. He says despite the status of the company being in bad shape, with help, the company can get back on its fit. The Chairman has also disclosed that currently, the company is running one train a week when it can run trains on a daily basis.
And Central Province Permanent Secretary Milner Mwanakampwe says the task of the Zambia Railways Board is gigantic and that many Zambians are looking to the revival of the company. He says this is a song that has been sung for a long time. However, Mwanakampwe says he is convinced beyond reasonable doubt that with the new board, positive results will come out of the new team.
He noted with excitement that with a board member Engineer Muchanti who is also board chairman for road development agency-RDA, more will be done. He reiterated that the new dawn government would want to release certain turnages that are carried on the road to the rail line in order to elongate the life span of the road network.
Mwanakampwe has however challenged the new board to take advantage of the opportunity and learn lessons from the previous boards and do better with monies invested in the company. The permanent secretary has also challenged the employees of Zambia Railways Limited to put in extra work and value as they report for work. He says the government would want to see a paradigm shift in terms of mindset towards work and avoiding pilferage of company resources. The permanent secretary has since assured the Zambia Railways Limited board of government support.
Speaking earlier, Kabwe District Commissioner Lenox Shimwambwa said he places great confidence in the new board to resuscitate Zambia Railways especially that it comprises former employees and those with passion to see development in Kabwe.
He says Kabwe district has had no industries to talk about except heavily relying on Zambia Railways Limited.
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