National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) board chairman Advocate Martin Dinha has left the country for Turkey to engage investors that are keen to help revive the company.
This comes as investors from various countries, including from Russia, China, Indonesia and Turkey, are reportedly interested investing in NRZ.
Adv Dinha told The Herald by phone from the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport yesterday evening that since launching their re-vitalisation and turnaround plan, there has been “a lot of interest” towards investment in the resuscitation of NRZ.
“We have interest from Russia through the provision of wagons and locomotives. We have also concrete interest from Indonesia’s national railway company,” said Adv Dinha.
“We also have interest from Turkey through the efforts of our Ambassador (Alfred Mutiwazuka) in implementing the Second Republic’s thrust for economic diplomacy. Turkey is a giant in rail and companies in there have shown interest to develop the new rail line and links in particular the Lion’s Den-Kafue-Zambia railway link and also the Shamva-Mutoko link.
“We are engaging with the railway construction company for rehabilitation of our internal entire network, that is the 2 700km network and a new project that goes northwards through the North-South corridor.”
Adv Dinha said the company they are engaging is a “well-known giant” in railway construction, which has projects running in Tanzania and is resuscitating rail lines in Zambia.
“They are also in Senegal. We are looking at leveraging a finance package for railway rehabilitation and new projects.
“We are also pursuing government-to-government deal which will be facilitated by our Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development (Felix Mhona) and his counterpart in Turkey.
“But we want to thank our Ambassador in Turkey and the Ambassador of Turkey in Zimbabwe who has also come on our side to support this initiative. Turkey has a modern economy and is a rising giant and we want to tap into their expansion programme in Africa,” said Adv Dinha.
He added that they are of the view that through the renewed interest and the support of Government, the shareholder, NRZ will be able to have a modern, efficient and reliable railway system in Zimbabwe which will anchor economic revival.
On April 7, a Cabinet decision emphatically supported railway revitalisation through the provision of 45 locomotives.
This year, there is a US$250 million allocation, part of which will be used to buy other necessities including wagons and coaches that will modernize the local rail system, as NRZ moves in its own way to help the attainment of an upper middle income economy by 2030 in line with President Mnangagwa’s vision.