11 May 2014

Zambia: Reconcile Missing Wagons, Urges Mukanga

WORKS, Supply, Transport and Communications, Minister Yamfwa Mukanga has called for the reconciliation of Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) assets to establish the extent of the alleged plunder.

Mr Mukanga said in an interview yesterday that the reconciliation of the ZRL assets would assist Government understand the extent of the problem.

He said Government had appointed a committee to establish the truth about the missing ZRL wagons and other assets and was still waiting the report from the committee.

"A committee has been established already and once they give us the report, we will be able to establish what exactly transpired," he said.

He said there was a possibility that some of the missing wagons were in other countries and that arrangements needed to be made to collect the wagons.

"When operating a railway system, usually you get wagons from other countries and they also get yours but that should be up to a specific period of time," he said.

He said Government would only get a correct picture after the reconciliation of all the wagons and assets in other countries are done.

He said it was possible that the wagons were left outside the country due to negligence.

"We may also not know that what has come up on the surface is just a tip of the iceberg and that the problem is bigger, so l am calling for a reconciliation of the wagons to ensure they are all accounted for," he said.

The latest Auditor General's report on accounts of parastatals revealed that more than 1,510 wagons valued at K31.4 million were missing following the termination of the concession agreement between

Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ) and ZRL in September 2012.

The report explains that an additional 59 coaches were missing from a total of 83 handed over to RSZ during the transaction period between 2003 and 2012.

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