18 January 2013

Zambia: ZRL Board Unveils Master Plan

Master plan to revamp and modernise Zambia Railways is ready.

A NEW board at Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) has been unveiled with plans to modernise railway infrastructure as part of its master plan to be implemented in the next three years.

The board is chaired by former task force on corruption chairperson Mark Chona and economist Oliver Saasa is deputy.

Others are Communication and Transport Permanent Secretary Muyenga Atanga and his Commerce and Trade counterpart Stephen Mwansa as well as Finance Permanent Secretary in charge of Budget, Pamela Chibonga.

Others on the board are Solicitor General Musa Mwenye, Road Transport and Safety Agency director Zindaba Soko, a consultant Joram Mwansa, a lawyer Irene Zeko Mbewe, Geoffrey Mulenga, a mechanical engineer, and Richard Chipanama, a former ZRL employee.

Speaking during an induction ceremony in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Chona said the vision of the ZRL board in partnership with management was to make the railway industry profitable, efficient and viable.

"This is a big task that we have been given, especially that President Michael Sata wants to see this railway industry viable. We want to look at what ZRL needs, how it will be revamped," he said.

Earlier, Dr Atanga implored the board to be innovative and work prudently to achieve the targeted goals.

ZRL chief executive officer Clive Chirwa said his management had an ambitious programme of resuscitating the railway firm and modernising it in the next three years.

Government recently revoked the concession agreement of the Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ) and placed it under ZRL.

Meanwhile, Adrian Mwanza reports that Dr Atanga has said ZRL would embark on an ambitious programme of acquiring state-of-the-art locomotives to make the firm more viable and reduce hauling of goods on the roads.

He said this when he appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Government Assurances at Parliament yesterday, chaired by United Party for National Development Itezhi Tezhi Member of Parliament, Greyford Monde.

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