New TAZARA chief spells out plan to turn round railway firm

TANZANIA-ZAMBIA Railway Authority (TAZARA) has called for customer-centric in order to turn the company into the best transport organization in the region.

TAZARA CEO Bruno Ching’andu said the firm had everything it needed to make money, adding that workers should be willing to work in order to revamp the authority.

Mr Ching’andu said he wanted to preside over a workforce that was proud to work for TAZARA, were paid handsomely and competitively and operating in a safe environment, with plenty of opportunities to learn and grow.

“I dream of a TAZARA whose workers are proud and happy to be working for this company.

‘‘I want us to be customer-centric, giving maximum respect to our clients and contributing to the growth of the economies of Tanzania and Zambia by paying taxes and dividends to the shareholders,” he said.

He challenged the workers to show commitment through support, and working as a unified team with one common goal in order to eliminate the divisive tendencies that pulled the authority backwards.

Mr Ching’andu urged employees to discard the begging mentality and begin to perform because the authority had everything it required to raise output and revenue generation.

He said he left a well-paying job in South Africa to join TAZARA because he knew it was possible to turn around the authority and begin to earn sustainable revenue, enough to pay employees’ salaries, taxes and dividends to the shareholders.

“This company has everything it needs to make money. The Chinese came, built the infrastructure and handed it to us to manage; some of them losing their lives in the process,” he said.

He said he would not be part of the begging culture and neither would he want to manage beggars; urging every employee to stop asking for handouts and instead focus on being productive in order to earn their salaries.

The managing director said that as a step towards revitalization, it was important to acknowledge that the current performance of TAZARA was a huge disappointment to the founders of TAZARA, who worked tirelessly to ensure the realization of a railway that connected Zambia to the eastern coast of Africa.

“You may argue about the timing of the funding and the quantities in which it was granted, but it is undisputable that a lot of money has been poured into TAZARA over the years by the governments of China, Tanzania and Zambia and everyone expects us to show appreciation by performing,” he said.

He has since embarked on a tour of the infrastructure from Dar es Salaam to New Kapiri-Mposhi, meeting and addressing all employees to sell his vision and demand that they rededicate themselves to the turnaround of the firm, whose annual freight haulage has dropped from a high of 1.2 million tonnes in 1976 to less than 90,000 tonnes in the 2014/2015 financial year.

The authority is expected to post improved haulage in the 2015/2016 financial year ending 30th June 2016.