Tanzania: What Proposed Change in Tazara Law Means for Tanzania

Dar es Salaam — The government is in the final stages to finalise a draft law to amend the Tanzania and Zambia Railway Authority (Tazara) Act so as to make it possible for a Tanzania national to serve in the capacity of authority's managing director.

Under the current set-up only a Zambia national can serve as the Tazara managing director.

However, briefing journalists in the Selous Game Reserve, as part of the commemoration of Tazara's 46th anniversary, the deputy minister for Works, Transport and Communications, Mr Atashasta Nditiye, said the Bill will be tabled in Parliament any time soon.

Mr Nditiye said the amendment was necessitated by the change of current circumstances.

According to him, since Tazara was established to help in the liberation of southern African countries, Zambia was seen as a vital country to lead the railway line but since then things have changed.

"We're no longer in the liberation struggles, hence there is a need for a rotational system, when it comes to Tazara management," said Mr Nditiye, who, however couldn't state, when exactly the Bill would be tabled before Parliament.

"You'll recall that the railway-line was constructed shortly after Zambia attained its independence, while Zimbabwe (former Southern Rhodesia), which are both landlocked countries, was still engaged in liberation struggles, hence it was important for them to manage the railway because South Africa, which was the alternative getaway for Zimbabwe was still under apartheid," added Mr Nditiye.

The deputy minister also revealed that the government has recapitalised the railway line with Sh10 billion for purchasing of traction motors, which will be used to construct eight locomotives.

"We are still in discussions with the Zambian government to see how we can revamp Tazara through recapitalisations," he said.

According to him, the talks aim at raising funds for improvement of workshops, procurement of wagons as well as locomotives.

For his part, Natural Resources and Tourism minister Hamisi Kigwangalla said apart from playing an important role in the liberation struggles, Tazara has continued to do the same, when it comes to improving trade between the two countries.

He also thanked the Chinese government for promoting tourists attractions throughout the world through various forms.

Chinese ambassador to Tanzania Wang Ke reiterated China support to Tanzania in multiple sectors, which include tourism.

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