HARARE, Feb. 23 — Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on
Wednesday commissioned railway equipment under a 400 million U.S. dollar
investment deal with South Africa’s rail utility Transnet.
Under the deal to revive the country’s dilapidated rail system, state
railway company the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) will get 13
locomotives, 200 wagons and 34 passenger coaches as part of government
efforts to recapitalize the company. Mnangagwa commissioned the first batch
of the equipment comprising more than half of the equipment and its
delivery comes after Transnet last year struck a deal with the Zimbabwe
Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group.
Mnangagwa commended the delivery of the refurbished equipment, saying it
will help in the revival of the economy through improving efficiency in
transportation of both cargo and passengers. “This development is
commendable as it resonates well with our vision to grow our economy,” the
president said at the launch of the equipment in Zimbabwe’s second largest
city of Bulawayo. He said an efficient rail system was essential to
growing Zimbabwe’s economy and also helped to integrate the country into
regional markets. He expressed government’s commitment to modernizing the
country’s railway system and building of new rail networks which penetrate
into the region.
Such infrastructure would not only benefit the country but the region as a
whole, he said. Transport minister Joram Gumbo said the rest of the
equipment under the deal was expected in the country before end of April.
He said the deal offered a comprehensive solution to the recovery of NRZ,
which requires 1.7 billion U.S. dollars to be fully recapitalized.”The
situation on the ground requires urgent attention as NRZ is a critical
enabler to the growth of our economy. All the investors that we are
attracting require a viable railway system to support anticipated growth in
import and and export traffic,” he said. – XINHUA