President Edgar Lungu says government will commence the construction of the USD 2.3 Billion Chipata-Petauke- Serenje Railway line in May 2017.
The Head of State said this in Chipata District during the N’cwala Traditional ceremony of the Ngoni speaking people at Mtenguleni. [See Photo Gallery]
President Lungu said economic and social infrastructure development is a catalyst for Zambia’s transformation to a developed country.
“My administration remains firmly committed to rapidly develop our infrastructure so that we make Zambia a hub in information communication technology, power generation and distribution, tourism and transport among others” President Lungu said
The Head of State said the project is expected to be completed in four years and it will create more than 8,000 jobs.
“I expect that all government departments involved in this project to adhere to the timetable to start construction not later than may 2017. Government has full confidence in the contractor, China Civil Engineering Construction Cooperation which has been awarded this 388.8 kilometre railway line from Chipata through Petauke in Eastern Province to Serenje in Central Province” President Lungu stated.
President Lungu said the railway line will enhance international trade through the Nacala development corridor thereby providing direct economic stimulus in Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique.
He said the railway line would link Zambia’s main rail network with the Malawian line through Chipata-Mchinji railway line. This will provide the shortest route of 1500 kilometres to the sea from Kapiri-Mposhi.
At the same ceremony, President Lungu emphasised that culture and heritage is a national asset and the cornerstone of the nation’s identity and for centuries, the Zambian people depended upon traditions to teach values and morals to the younger generation.
He added that Zambians must not be afraid of who they are, but be proud and leverage the special cultural diversities for the greater good and development of the people.
Meanwhile Zambia Railways Limited is expected to benefit from the construction of the railway line as the line connectivity will provide reliable and cost effective bulk transportation to the mining, energy, agricultural sectors, etc among Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique and the region at large.
The line will provide a link from mining, agricultural and industrial production centers with distant markets as well as a link for transportation of mining inputs, agricultural inputs and industrial raw materials.
The line will also see a reduction in the transportation costs for the customers as this route is the shortest to the sea port.
And Zambia Railways Limited participated at this year’s N’cwala traditional ceremony which was held under the theme “Unity and Tolerance”
Zambia Railways Limited reaffirmed its commitment in supporting the preservation of the country’s cultural heritage.
Speaking after the presentation of gifts to the Paramount Chief Mpezeni, ZRL Managing Director Christopher Musonda said the company’s participation to traditional ceremonies across the country is an indication that it values the traditions and cultural values and norms.
And the N’cwala traditional ceremony National Chairperson, Brighton Ngoma speaking on behalf of Chief Mpezeni said the Eastern Province has seen developmental programmes from infrastructure, agriculture and other economic sectors.
Chief Mpezeni was happy to announce that the province has seen a reduction in the child marriages cases as compared to the previous years.
He attributed this to the sensitisation and educational programmes been carried out by different stakeholders in the province to educate the people on the ill vice.
Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) managed to walk away with 7 awards in various sports disciplines at the Southern African Railways Sports and Cultural Organisation (SARSCO) games which were held from the 2nd to 3rd December, 2016 in Gaborone, Botswana.
ZRL participated in Golf, Chess, Darts, Football, Volleyball, Netball, Pool Table, Table Tennis and draught game.
The institution managed to come out first in Golf, Chess and draught and walked away with gold medals, while in Football, Volleyball and Darts, ZRL came out second and won silver medals.
In Netball and Table Tennis, ZRL came out third and walked away with Bronze medals while in Pool table ZRL took the 4th position.
Speaking at the Gala Dinner during the Prize giving ceremony at Phakalane Hotel, Southern African Railways Association (SARA) Vice President Christopher Musonda in his welcoming remarks said he was impressed with the participation of the railway administrations in the sports activities.
Mr Musonda who is also the Managing Director of Zambia Railways Limited said the SARSCO games give a platform to the Railway administrations to interact and exchange ideas on various issues of development.
Meanwhile during the Official Opening of the SARSCO games, SARA Executive Director Babe Botana was delighted to see the various railways coming together to interact through sports activities.
Botana thanked the host of the games, Botswana Railways for taking up the challenge by ensuring that the games were held.
He wished all the participants the best of luck in the games.
And SARA President Nonkululeko Poya urged all the participating railways to take advantage of the games by sharing the knowledge, networking and building friendships.
Poya who is also Railway Safety Regulator Chief Executive Officer said the games should be able to strengthen the relationships among the railways.
Zambia Railways Limited, SwaziRail, Botswana Railways, Transnet Freight Rail of South Africa, Railway Safety Regulators of South African participated at the SARSCO games.
For more pictures of the regional games event go to http://zrl.com.zm/blog-posts/photo-gallery-2/