FINANCE minister Mthuli Ncube has announced plans by government to recapitalise the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ).
BY PATRICIA SIBANDA
Ncube visited the parastatal last Friday.
This was after the NRZ board chairperson Martin Dinha said the parastatal needed about $2 billion for recapitalisation. He said funding was needed for the NRZ to fix cargo trains and equipment to import and export goods. Dinha said thereafter more focus will be put into improving passenger trains.
“There is great expectation from citizens about the passenger side which we know is always subsidised by the freight side, but I guess in terms of economics we have to fix the freight side first before we can really provide better services on the passenger side,” Ncube said.
“NRZ plays a very important role in making sure that Zimbabwe becomes the hub for transit traffic within the region, and citizens are always looking forward to use the train because it is an affordable service. We are also aware of the importance of NRZ in providing employment nationally besides being a service provider in the logistics sector.
“It is also critical for the mineral sector and so as government we stand ready to support NRZ financially in their vision and mission and to work with them. The NRZ chairman has given the details of what is needed from government support to recapitalise NRZ,” he said.
The Finance minister said three investors from Indonesia have shown interest in the NRZ and have already toured its facilities.
He said if capacitated, the NRZ can service routes such as Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo to enable movement of good from those countries to Zimbabwe and other countries in the region.
Follow Patricia on Twitter @patricaisiband