ZAMBIA Railways Limited (ZRL) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Muyenga Atanga has bemoaned the alarming rate of vandalism on the ongoing rehabilitation of the railway network across the country.
Professor Atanga has thus sort the engagement of leaders at various levels to help sensitise communities to ensure people appreciated the infrastructure which would culminate into their social and economic benefit.
Speaking when he led a team of ZRA officers in paying a courtesy call on Chililabombwe District Commissioner Stuart Chitumbo, Professor Atanga said his firm was poised to revamp the once buoyant railway system as it played a key role in the nations' economic agenda.
Professor Atanga, whose team had earlier toured Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) operations in Chililabombwe, said the inter-mine railway connectivity would help the mining firms on the Copperbelt to transport huge volumes of copper unlike the current situation of relying on the road network.
Professor Atanga noted that the revival of the railway system would culminate into an improved road network lifespan thus the resources spared from the constant rehabilitation of roads would be channelled to other avenues of development.
He said the passenger train service had not been neglected as the railway company would unveil two state -of-the art modern passenger trains in September and October this year respectively.
The ZRL has increased the number of passenger trains from one to three as the number of trains had been reduced to one from the original six during the concession period of the railway firm.
Meanwhile, Chililabombwe District Commissioner Stuart Chitumbo promised to hold a stakeholders meeting with civic leaders to ensure they began sensitising communities in the district against acts of vandalism on the railway network.
Mr Chitumbo also called on contractors engaged in the rehabilitation of the rail line to consider employing local people as the move would help curb vandalism as well as contribute to job creation in the district.-ZANIS