It’s business as usual at ZR

The suspension of Zambia Railways (ZR) chief executive officer Professor Clive Chirwa will not affect the ongoing rehabilitation exercise because the company is bigger than an individual.

Acting Chief Executive Officer Dr. Muyenga Attanga said the company has embarked upon rehabilitation exercise engineered by the huge financial support the government had rendered.

And Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) Managing Director Ronald Phiri says despite low funding from the government, his administration was working hard to reduce the problems affecting the company. Dr. Attanga was speaking at Shitima house in Kabwe during a joint strategic planning meeting for TAZARA and ZR.

“Zambia Railways is like a patient who now is beginning to recover, we appreciate the efforts made by Professor Chirwa but the principal architects are these engineers here and there is no need to go and get people from outside the country to come and revamp the company because the expertise is possessed by these locals,” he said.

He added that the company was bigger than an individual and that no good project that was embarked on by Profe Chirwa would be discarded since the desire of the government and all the people generally was to see a revamped railway industry.

“We want to see trains moving, we dont want a scenario where people would be at Lusaka railway station but not seeing any train movement, before we even start talking about underground railways we must rehabilitate the existing line and help in raising foreign exchange by moving bulk cargo,” said Dr. Attanga.

Dr. Attanga refuted political interference in the running of the company and maintained management’s autonomy.

“There is literally no political interference, management is autonomous as dictates the norms of corporate governance but that is not to say that we are not answerable to the shareholders who are the citizens of Zambia through  Cabinet,” he said.

He also called on the media to report factually about events unfolding at Zambia Railways.

He however hailed the media’s role in keeping the nation informed and was particularly pleased with the Daily Nation’s coverage of the ZR events. “You have extensively covered the Zambia Railways events in you upcoming paper, thank you,” he told a Nation reporter in Kabwe. Meanwhile Phiri said his company was capable of resolving the many problems it faced with strong collaboration with Zambia Railways.

“Our two companies work hand in hand and were established in order to facilitate the movement of cargo especially copper from Zambia to the port at Dar es Salaam, unfortunately we have not been as heavily funded as our colleagues but we are committed to solving the many problems facing the company,” said Phiri who led a six man delegation to the meeting. The meeting was called to see how the two railway giants can work together for economic progress.