TAZARA makes big strides in first quarter of 2016

THE Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority has transported 29,061 metric tonnes of freight, and marked an improvement of 9.4 percent compared to the corresponding first quarter of 2015/2016. During the same period last year, only 26,571 metric tonnes were transported. It was also observed that the performance of the interstate passenger trains between Dar es Salaam and Kapiri Mposhi improved by 20.2 percent having transported 133,863 passengers during the first quarter of 2016/2017 compared to 111,335 passengers during the first quarter of 2015/2016. This is according to a communique issued on the occasion of the 109th meeting of the TAZARA board of directors, comprising the permanent secretaries responsible for transport in Tanzania and Zambia, as chairperson and co-chairperson, respectively, together with three other board members from both countries, who met in Dar es Salaam on Friday. The board noted from the management’s report of the first quarter of the 2016/2017 financial year, commencing on 1 July 2016 and ending on 30 September 2016, that the authority had continued posting improvements in both freight and passenger traffic. The management reported improvements in most operational indices in freight operations, including overall enhanced and consistent security and safety in train operations as well as an average transit time of 6.3 days and a wagon turn-round time of 24 days between Dar es Salaam and Kapiri Mposhi. The improvements recorded during the period under review were mostly attributed to continued interventions by the two shareholding governments through the provision of working capital support, which facilitated an enabling business environment and stability in operations. However, the board also noted that there were still some operational challenges emanating from tax-related issues at the Port of Dar es Salaam, despite the management reporting appreciable strides in restoring positive performance indicators.