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Tazara gets $42m boost from China

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by nngu007, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. nngu007

    nngu007 JF-Expert Member

    #1
    Sep 23, 2012
    Joined: Aug 2, 2010
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    [​IMG]
    The Tazara station in Kapiri Moshi, Zambia. The joint railway firm between Zambia and Tanzania has signed a $42m financing deal with China. Photo/FILE Nation Media Group

    By JOINT REPORT The EastAfrica

    Posted Saturday, September 22 2012 at 12:35

    IN SUMMARY

    • Officials from the two countries said the funding under the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (Tazara) gives the firm the financial muscle to execute the projects agreed in March by China, Tanzania and Zambia under the 15th Economic and Technical Co-operation Protocol.
    • Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika, managing director of Tazara, said the new projects include the rehabilitation of 42 passenger coaches and supply of four new main line locomotives, two shunting locomotives and rescue and lifting equipment.
    • Other projects will address the supply of track trolleys, assorted spare parts and training of railway staff.



    Tanzania and Zambia are set to complete 12 new projects worth $42 million after securing funding from China under their joint railway, Tazara.


    Officials from the two countries said the funding under the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (Tazara) gives the firm the financial muscle to execute the projects agreed in March by China, Tanzania and Zambia under the 15th Economic and Technical Co-operation Protocol.


    Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika, managing director of Tazara, said the new projects include the rehabilitation of 42 passenger coaches and supply of four new main line locomotives, two shunting locomotives and rescue and lifting equipment.


    More than rails

    Other projects will address the supply of track trolleys, assorted spare parts and training of railway staff.


    Tanzania and Zambia recently committed to providing funding to the struggling Uhuru Railway so that it can settle outstanding terminal and pension benefits for its workers.



    The economic and technical support under the 15 protocols signed so far is what has kept Tazara going while awaiting for much needed recapitalisation, reconstruction and restructuring by the shareholding governments of Zambia and Tanzania.


    Once fully executed, the projects are expected to greatly enhance Tazara's capacity, doubling the number of locomotives in operation by the year 2015.



    Currently there are, on average, only 10 main line locomotives available daily, for main line activities covering the entire 1,860km railway, stretching from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to New Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia.


    "We need to ensure that Tazara is able to provide guaranteed service, acquire new engines and maintain existing ones" said Tanzania's Minister for Transport Harrison Mwakyembe.



    Even though the railway connects Zambia, a landlocked country, to Dar es Salaam port, cargo shipping has been slowing year after year due to Tazara's poor infrastructure and facilities.



    Latest statistics show Tazara has the capacity to transport five million tonnes of cargo and three million passengers per annum. However, the tonnage reduced from 1.2 million in 1992/93 to 339,094 tonnes in 2011/12 and 793,231 passengers last financial year.



    More problems


    Tazara, locally known as Uhuru Railway, has been battling managerial problems, which have resulted in workers going on strike over delays in salary payments, lack of standard tariffs and controversies over benefits for workers.


    The railway operates between Dar es Salaam and Kapiri Mposhi. Latest figures show that Tazara owes retirees about $86 million with officials in Tanzania saying higher figures are expected by the end of 2012 when an independent actuarial valuation is undertaken to determine the exact pension debt stock, among other things.





    The
    long-standing debt has also hurt the performance of the 1,860-kilometre line.



    Some Tanzanian MPs are calling for the repealing of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority Act to allow what they termed as "opening up of top management jobs for citizens of both countries."



    The MPs have in the past held that top jobs in Tazara should not be exclusively for Zambians. Tazara Act No 4 of 1975, for example, requires that the managing director be appointed from Zambia and the deputy from Tanzania, because the headquarters of the Authority are based in the latter country.



    By Joseph Mwamunyange and Dorithy Ndeketela





     
  2. nngu007

    nngu007 JF-Expert Member

    #2
    Sep 23, 2012
    Joined: Aug 2, 2010
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    Nilidhani wachina wemetusamehe DENI LA TAZARA; Ni ZAMBIA wenye deni kubwa.
     
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