Saturday, January 30, 2010

Faulty TAZARA trains hamper transportation of copper

Faulty TAZARA trains hamper transportation of copper
By Chibaula Silwamba
Sat 30 Jan. 2010, 04:00 CAT

ABOUT 10,000 metric tonnes of copper and other goods are marooned at Kapiri Mposhi because TAZARA locomotives are faulty. Tazania Zambia Railways (TAZARA) insiders have revealed that some clients are contemplating withdrawing from using TAZARA services because of delays in transportation.

“Clients are upset with us because their goods are not being transported from Kapiri Mposhi. We have 59 wagons loaded with copper stuck in the yard. We also have 9, 531 metric tonnes of copper and manganese as well as 643 metric tonnes of manganese in Serenje,” the insider said.

“We have six wagons loaded and two being loaded now. This means that at the moment we have about 10,000 metric tonnes of materials in our custody and 67 wagons loaded with materials waiting to be moved.”
The sources said the scenario was a challenge to TAZARA.

“Without a concrete assurance from us as to whether the material will move in the shortest possible time, the customers want to mobilize trucks to move their material from Kapiri Mposhi and Serenje. Our customers are seriously contemplating pulling out of TAZARA,” the source said.

“Genesis Procurement Limited wants an assurance that we will provide 30 HSOs at Serenje this month for their manganese so that they can give us something since we cannot uplift 5,000 tonnes on offer per month from them.”

The insider also said TAZARA owed various institutions about US $60 million.
“So those are some of the challenges the new MD is inheriting,” said the source.

Meanwhile, communications and transport permanent secretary Dominic Sichinga confirmed a Post story that Akashambatwa Mbikusita Lewanika had been appointed TAZARA managing director.

Confirming the appointment of former political advisor to President Rupiah Banda, Sichinga stated that TAZARA board of directors appointed Aka to take over from Henry Chipewo, who was acting managing director, whose acting appointment was terminated by the board.

Over the weekend, The Post revealed that President Banda had appointed Aka as TAZARA managing director without following laid down procedures enshrined in the TAZARA Act.
The sources said Aka had been appointed to ensure the MMD’s easy access to TAZARA.

Last Thursday, the Presidency issued a media statement that President Banda had redeployed Aka to another position in public service where his experience and services were required.

TAZARA railway runs from Dar-es-Salaam to Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia.
At the moment TAZARA is in serious financial difficulties with a huge debt.

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