THE missing Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) wagons are believed to have been sold to some neigbouring countries, sources close to the company have revealed.
According to the latest Auditor General’s report, more than 1,510 wagons valued at K31.4 million were missing following the termination of the concession agreement between the Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ) and ZRL in September 2012.
Sources told the Sunday Times that an additional 1,974 wagons were also missing, bringing the total of missing wagons to 3, 484. Some are said to have been sold to neighboring countries where they are still operational.
The sold wagons have a lifespan of between 60-70 years, therefore, could have still be working even in Zambia up to now.
The source said it was shocking to learn about reports that some ZRL equipment was sent to America for repairs when the company had local qualified engineers.
“The ZRL workshop was able to strip and rebuild the engines because all the machinery on maintenance was in place and all that was required were spare parts,” said insiders.
It is said that by 1994, ZRL had 51 of U20C Diesel electric locomotives with more than 2000 horse power and 1000 tonnage with another 12 U15C diesel electric and two CMI shunters with 1100 horse of 600 tonnes.
Documentations obtained by the Sunday Times showed that ZRL had a total of 15 GT36 CU MP Horse powers 3,600 with a load hauling of 1800 tonnes capacity.
The report further revealed that ZRL had a variety of wagons that included high sided open, drop sided open, hoppers, covered, explosives, container carriers and livestock.
Others were wagon for transportation of various petroleum products such as petrol tank, furnace oil tank, sulfuric acid tank, nitric acid tank and molasses /tallow tank.
Some insiders at ZRL have since called on the Anti -corruption Commission (ACC) to institute investigations on the missing wagons and other equipment.
Insiders have accused some top managers who managed ZRL during privatisation to the Railways Systems Limited of having information on the missing wagons and other railway infrastructure.
ZRL Chief executive officer Muyenga Atanga declined to comment and referred all questions to the Ministry of Communications and Transport permanent secretary.
Times of Zambia