Zimra delays NRZ locomotives

Source: Zimra delays NRZ locomotives – DailyNews Live

Farayi Machamire      30 April 2018

HARARE – National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ)’s rolling stock and
locomotives unveiled by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on February 21 took
over a month to be operationalised as they were held up in Bulawayo by the
Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) over customs clearance.

Mnangagwa unveiled NRZ’s 20 locomotives and 200 wagons from South Africa’s
Transnet, as part of measures to revive the parastatal under an agreement
with the Diaspora Investment Development Group (DGIG)/ Transnet

However, the stock, which was coming into the country duty free, was only
able to get onto the tracks on March 28, with 49 wagons only availed to
NRZ as of Friday last week.

While Zimra commissioner general Faith Mazani directed questions to the
commissioner of customs who had not responded to questions sent last week
by the time of going to print yesterday, the Authority’s nonexecutive
chairperson Willia Bonyongwe said she was hearing about the delay for the
first time, as operational issues were outside her board’s purview.

“I will pass this one, you can talk to management…However, I need to
point out that the Zimra board is very committed to its mandate and is 100
percent supportive of our government,” she said.

NRZ public relations manager Nyasha Maravanyika acknowledged the stock
could have been put on the tracks sooner, but insisted there were various
formalities at play.

“There was no inordinate delay. We were only finalising the various
formalities, including customs clearance for them to start moving. While
we waited on Zimra, it also gave us an opportunity to train our engine
men,” he told the Daily News.

He added: “The…wagons could not be put into service soon after they were
received by the NRZ because of an embargo on loadings at Maputo Port due
to an acute shortage of loading space.”

Since the rolling stock took to the tracks, NRZ has raised its freight
capacity and enhanced its shipment volumes, Maravanyika said.

“The equipment received by NRZ as an interim solution pending its
recapitalisation project has started making an impact on the
organisation’s operations. All the 200 wagons have been put to dedicated
use for chrome exports from the Zimbabwe Iron and Mining Company (Zimasco)
Kildonan in Mashonaland Central and Zimasco Kwekwe to Maputo.

“Chrome exports using the wagons started on March 29 utilising the first
batch of 151 wagons.  The remaining 49 wagons were availed to the NRZ on
20 April. Since deployment chrome producers have managed to reduce
stockpiles of chrome as the gap between demand and the product uplifted is
reduced. NRZ is now also able to meet demand for its wagons from other