Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL)has reiterated its commitment in preserving the rich cultural heritage of the country by rendering financial and material support to traditional ceremonies.
ZRL Acting Director Human Resources, Mr. Reuben Lungu said the company has a proactive Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy which enables it to participate fully in the social and community activities.
“We are happy as Zambia Railways to be part of this colourful event and we shall continue rendering support to traditional ceremonies as a way of preserving our culture and history.”He said. Mr. Lungu said this after presenting gifts to Her Royal Highness Chieftainess Serenje at the Ichibwelamushi Traditional Ceremony of the Lala and Swaka people of Chitambo, Mkushi, Luano, Kapiri Mposhi and Serenje districts which took place on 8th October, 2016 at Chalata Arena.
Officiating at the ceremony, Central Province Minister Sydney Mushanga said government is committed to ensuring that the country’s rich traditions are preserved.Mr. Mushanga further said that traditions help in shaping society with good morals and the importance cannot be overemphasized.
The Minister toured the stands where traditional foods where displayed showing the locally prepared beer known as ‘katata’ and ‘katubi’ as well as locally grown crops.
The ceremony was characterized by entertainment from various traditional dance groups and there was a performance depicting the way of life in the village much to the satisfaction of the audience.
The Ichibwelamushi Traditional Ceremony is an annual event which is held in the Central Province of Zambia.
Zambia Railways Limited has pledged continued financial and material support to traditional ceremonies in the country.
Zambia Railways Limited Director Finance Ms Chungu Sikazwe said the company attaches great importance to Corporate Social Responsibility programmes such as traditional ceremonies.
We have a responsibility as an institution to plough back in the communities where we are operating by providing financial and material support to CSR activities” Ms Sikazwe said.
Ms Sikazwe said this after presenting gifts to His Royal Highness Senior Chief Mukuni Ng’ombe at the Kulamba Kubwalo traditional ceremony of the Lenje speaking people of Chibombo district which was held on 15th October, 2016 at the Likonde Lyaba Nkanga Shrine.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Republican President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, said government believes that traditional leaders are powerful partners in enhancing national development and unity in the country.
President Lungu said this in a speech read on his behalf by Central Province Minister Hon. Sydney Mushanga who graced the ceremony.
He further said government remains firmly committed to the development, promotion and preservation of the dignity of our traditional heritage.
Meanwhile Senior Chief Mukuni Ng’ombe congratulated His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu on his re-election as sixth President of the Republic of Zambia.
The Senior Chief wished the Republican President good health, wisdom and God’s guidance as he steers development in the country.
Senior Chief Mukuni Ng’ombe said this in a speech read on his behalf by Senior Chief Chamuka of Chisamba.
Kulamba Kubwalo is a traditional ceremony where all Lenje Chiefs of Central Province and their subjects come together to celebrate between September and October to thank their God and pay homage to their Senior Mukuni Ng’ombe for the good harvest and protection and to seek good guidance for the next years to come.
This traditional Ceremony is a celebration of a good harvest of millet, cassava, sweet potatoes and maize.
Every year, people are killed and injured because they are trespassing, or vandalising the railway facilities.
Zambia Railways Limited has continued to appeal to the general public to desist from activities such as trespassing, vandalism and encroachment
Only certain parts of the railway premises are open to the members of the public. Of course, you can go on the stations, platforms and safe crossing places.
But you will be trespassing if you go on to the railway tracks, or any other area without authorisation by railway staff.
Anyone trespassing on the railway facilities puts his or her life at risk for any eventuality in the railway premise especially those that short cut across the railway track.
Vandalism of Railway Infrastructure and assets has continued to be a setback in improving the Zambia Railways’ infrastructure.
These retrogressive acts are not only endangering the lives of the travelling public on the railway line but also contributing to derailments, forcing the company to incur unplanned costs .
In some communities along the line of rail most residents have been dumping garbage on the railway line posing a risk to the passengers and the goods.
In other cases, some unscrupulous people have been caught removing concrete sleepers, ballast stones and rail components from the track which in some way causes derailments.
It is a criminal offence for any person found removing concrete sleepers, ballast stones and other railway components from the railway line or being in possession of the stated items because anyone found wanting will face the law.
Mmebers of the public are therefore urged to desist from such acts and safeguard the railway infrastructure.
It is against this background that ZRL Police command has been the main provider of Security and has attached great importance to safeguarding the passengers and the customer goods.
In fighting Vandalism and theft,the ZRL police Unit has a good working relationship with other security agencies such as the Zambia State Police.
The good cooperation with the State Police has resulted into joint anti vandalism and train escorts of high valued commodities such as Copper, fuel, Sugar, Fertilisers etc.
Zambia Railways Police Unit has investigated complex criminal cases of vandalism and theft which has led to conviction of offenders.Therefore there is need for communities especially those along the line of rail to protect the railway infrastructure by desisting from vandalism and theft and reporting any cases to ZRL Police or any police station.
The Catholic Church is impressed with the rehabilitation works been carried out by Zambia Railways.
During the familiarization tour of Zambia Railways facilities, Catholic Diocese of Kabwe Bishop Clement Mulenga, was happy with the progress made so far by the institution after governments decision to repossess it.
The catholic clergy was in the company of Vica General-Rodgers Kabwiri, Fr. Bartholomew Mukuka, Ms. Mary Kabinga and Sr. Winfridah.
“We are delighted to see how Zambia railways operations are improving, and we hope that the institution will continue progressing and recording success in their operations” Bishop Mulenga said.
Meanwhile Zambia Railways Director Rolling Stock Webster Mtambo made a presentation to the clergy and his entourage on the update report of Zambia Railways from the time the company was repossessed by government.
Mr Mtambo said ZRL has recorded progress in the ongoing rehabilitation programme of the infrastructure and rolling stock.
He further pointed out the expected benefits of the rehabilitation project, which includes increased train speeds, increase in the passenger ridership and increased tonnage for freight trains.
After the presentation, the visiting clergy and his entourage toured ZRL Main Workshops, the Control Traffic Center (CTC) to familiarize with the operations of the institution.
Zambia Railways has reiterated its commitment in preserving the cultural heritage of the country by supporting traditional ceremonies.
Zambia Railways Limited Director Human Resources, Mr. Davies Mukonkela said this after making a contribution towards the ceremony where ZRL was one of the sponosors at the Ncwala Traditional Ceremony of the Ngoni speaking people of Chipata district which took place on 27th February, 2016 at Mtenguleni.
Mr Mukonkela said Zambia Railways has a proactive Corporate Social Responsibility CSR policy which enables it to participate fully in the social and community activities of the country.
“We are happy as Zambia Railways to be part of this colourful and splendid event. We shall continue rendering support to traditional ceremonies as a way of preserving our rich culture and history.” He said.
The Ncwala ceremony was characterised by dances and songs from the traditional dance groups also known as ‘impis” much to the satisfaction of the audience in the arena.
The Senior Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni Speaking people clad in his animal skinned ceremonial attire was later handed with gifts presented by the Chief Executive Officer Christopher Musonda in the company of the Director Human Resources,Manager Procurement and other support staff from the railway firm.
The colourful and unique ceremony was graced by His Excellency the President Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu.