49 days to complete Zim-Moza railway line

10 May, 2024 - 00:05 0 Views
49 days to complete Zim-Moza railway line National Railways of Zimbabwe track workers have hit the ground running and this week were refurbishing part of the 10km railway line in Darlington Extension, Mutare. They are expected to complete the work in 49 days. — Picture: Tinai Nyadzayo

The ManicaPost

Liberty Dube
Post Correspondent

THE refurbishment of the 10km railway line that stretches from Machipanda (Mozambique) to Mutare has commenced, with the project set to be completed in 49 working days, The Manica Post can reveal.

The project is a result of bilateral deliberations that were presided over by Zimbabwe and Mozambique governments early this year.

National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) track workers were busy on the ground when The Manica Post visited part of the stretch in Darlington Extension in Mutare on Tuesday.

The scope of work includes re-sleepering the line, replacement of worn out rail and re-ballasting.

The project is being done in collaboration with Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique (CFM) of Mozambique which chipped in with 3 000 sleepers.

Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique is a State-owned company that oversees the railway system of Mozambique and its connected ports.

NRZ public affairs and stakeholder relations manager, Mr Andrew Kunambura, said they added extra manpower to boost capacity in terms of labour.

“This is a great development to ensure the smooth flow of traffic on either side of the border. This will improve our turnover time and minimise derailments and ensure that goods can be moved in and out of the country smoothly because we are a strategic company in terms of movement of exports and imports. We anticipate the work to be completed in 49 working days. We have hired an extra 21 track workers in addition to the 19 we already have to boost capacity in terms of labour.

 

“This has also helped create employment for the local people. We are excited with the progress being made. We anticipate the smooth transportation of goods. We are looking forward to have the railway refurbishment project being stretched to Harare,” said Mr Kunambura.

Zimbabwe and Mozambique governments early this year agreed to refurbish and extend the 10km railway line that stretches from Machipanda (Mozambique) as a move to address the challenges of roads being damaged by cargo-moving trucks.

Because of its proximity to the Sea Port of Beira, Forbes Border Post has become one of the busiest ports of entry in the country as it serves almost half of the SADC region.

The border post is clearing about 550 trucks every day, hence the need for an efficient railway service to transport cargo.

Speaking to the media in January, Mozambican Transport and Communications Minister, Mr Mateus Magala called for the establishment of efficient, modern and progressive infrastructure that facilitate trade and integration between Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

“No development will take place if we continue working in silos. We need to work together. We need to upgrade our thinking and actions so that we achieve more great things. We need to have efficient, modern and progressive infrastructure that facilitate trade and integration of our two countries. We want to operate borderless countries because Zimbabwe and Mozambique have a unique history. I am very happy that we managed to agree on what we need to do and also prioritise the urgency of these projects,” he said.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister, Honourable Felix Mhona, said the railway line refurbishment is very topical as our roads are being damaged every day.

“We need to move the cargo from the roads to the railway. I am happy to note that Mozambique has done tremendously well in rehabilitating their railway from Beira to Machipanda, and the missing link has been the 10km stretch into Mutare. You have heard for yourself from my Mozambican counterpart that they are willing to assist us and work together so that we take it to Mutare.

“We have given ourselves a timeline of three months. This will be achieved,” said Minister Mhona.

 

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