Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) Managing Director, Bruno Ching’andu, has dismissed media reports that the Chinese government is planning to take over the operations of the railway company.
Addressing over 200 workers at TAZARA New Kapiri Mposhi last week, Engineer Ching’andu said many workers have been asking about the taking over of operations of TAZARA by the Chinese government.
He said China is not taking over TAZARA and that such rumours should be dismissed forthwith.
Engineer Ching’andu said what is true is that the Chinese government is so passionate about TAZARA and wants to see it running smoothly.
He said at no time has China indicated that it was taking over the operations of TAZARA, adding that China wants to keep the China–Africa spirit live by seeing to it that the railway company operates the way it was designed.
“The Chinese Government is so passionate about TAZARA and wants to see to it that the company continues to operate the way it was designed. They lost about 62 people from their country during the construction of TAZARA and this is what makes them to continue having interests in the manner the company is running,” he said.
Engineer Chinga’andu, however, said what is true is that discussions have been held to see how best the company can revamp its operations and what has been discussed among others, is a possibility of a partnership that will be beneficial to the two parties.
He said discussions on the same will be held by the end of the year on the operations of TAZARA with the Chinese Government.
He also dismissed reports that China has released K3.2 million to boost the operations of TAZARA.
And Engineer Ching’andu has disclosed that K100 million has been released to Mununga Quarry in Mpika district to boost the operations.
Engineer Ching’andu said that the K100 million will go towards the rehabilitation of equipment at Mununga Quarry so as boost operations.
The plant, which has capacity to produce more than 2,000mt of quarry products per hour when operating at full capacity, has of late been facing challenges due to broken down equipment.
“The quarry is very viable and can make a lot of money for the company if it operates normally. This company has capacity to make up to K150 million a month and so we need to support them,” he said.
The TAZARA Managing Director is making his debut visit of all the 94 railway stations on the 1,860 km stretch of the railway line following his appointment on April 25 this year.
The line inspection tour has coincided with the 40th Anniversary of commercial operations in the two sister countries since the Chinese government handed over the operations on July 14, 1976 to the authority.
Engineer Ching’andu is taking time to talk to the workers encouraging them on the need to work as a team and regain the lost glory.
Engineer Ching’andu says his vision is to regain the lost glory of the railway company that has over the years performed badly, losing a lot of customers in the process.
He told the workers at New Kapiri Mposhi that there is no way 3,000 workers could manage to move only 90,000 tonnes of cargo in 2015.
He said the company has started making a turn round and in the 2015-2016 financial year, it has managed to move 130 tonnes of cargo which ended last month in June and has projected to move at least 380,000 tonnes of cargo for the coming financial year.
Engineer Ching’andu said it is possible to revamp the operations of TAZARA if all the workers worked together.