Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) was among the sponsors that joined the Lunda people in Mwansabombwe District, Luapula Province in celebrating the 2018 Mutomboko Ceremony. The beautiful ceremony celebrated on the last Saturday of July also marked the 20th anniversary of Mwata Kazembe XIX, Paul Mpemba II Kaniembo’s reign.
Meanwhile, Zambia Railways Chief Executive Officer Christopher Musonda said ZRL was proud to be part of the colourful event by offering financial and material support.
“Zambia Railways will continue supporting traditional ceremonies in the country as part of its strong belief in preservation of the cultural heritage. Traditional ceremonies also provides an opportunity for ZRL to plough back to the community.” said Mr Musonda
The ceremony characterised by various cultural performances was graced by the Minister of Infrastructure and Housing, Hon. Ronald Chitotela.
Zambia Railways Limited regrets the accident that occurred today involving the light Locomotive No. 159 moving from Ndola to Bwana Mkubwa and a Toyota Hiace Bus registration No. ACV 3434 at 09:35 hrs at Chimangachanga level crossing in Ndola.
Preliminary investigations reveal that the Zambia Railways locomotive being driven by Yonah Mwale hit into the Toyota Hiace Bus being driven by 17 year old George Kamanga of Chipulukusu in Ndola. The driver of the Toyota Hiace Bus failed to stop at the level crossing.
The driver of the bus including the other three passengers sustained minor injuries while causing damage to the locomotive.
Meanwhile ZRL Chief Executive Officer Christopher Musonda has noted with concern the increasing number of level crossing accidents, as a result of motorists disobeying traffic rules.
Mr Musonda reiterated the need for concerted efforts among stakeholders such as the Road Transport and Safety Agency(RTSA)as well as the Zambia Police in addressing rail road safety issues.
“The rate at which motorists are disobeying traffic rules at level crossing is alarming as well as a huge concern to Zambia Railways. The accidents are not only posing a risk to human life, but they are a huge cost to Zambia Railways through repairs of damaged equipment as well as the railway track” said Mr Musonda.
Zambia Railways would like to urge motorists to observe traffic rules for their own safety and other road /rail users.
Government has signed and issued a Statutory Instrument(SI) No. 7 of 2018 that makes it mandatory for all transporters of heavy and bulk cargo to transport a minimum of 30 percent by rail transport.
During the historic signing of the SI on 26th January, 2018,Transport and Communications Minister, Brian Mushimba said the SI will among other benefits preserve the road infrastructure.
Eng. Mushimba said the SI will further optimise the transport sector and promote the sustainability of the rail sub sector.
“Currently, the rail sub sector has a minute market share of 5% to 8% compared to road with 92% to 95% out of which only 2% is handled by Zambian transporters. The huge discrepancy in the performance has impacted negatively on the rail sub sector leading to decrease in revenue generated resulting in deferred maintenance of the permanent way and rolling stock as well as reduced rail transportation efficiency.” said Eng. Mushimba.
The Transport Minister said Government through his ministry will set up a Monitoring and Evaluation Team to monitor compliance.
Eng. Mushimba added that the team will work closely with other stakeholders such as the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), Zambia Weights and Measures Agency, Central Chamber of Mines and Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry to ensure that any transporter acting in defiance to the SI is brought to book.
Speaking at the same event, Zambia Railways Limited Board Chairperson, Lubinda Linyama said the SI will help in transforming Zambia Railways into a viable and competitive railway operator.
And Zambia Railways Chief Executive Officer, Christopher Musonda said the SI will help decongest the roads while increasing tonnage for the company.
ZAMBIA RAILWAYS SCOOPS BEST OVERALL EXHIBITOR AWARD AT THE CAMINEX SHOW
Zambia Railways Limited scooped the Best Overall Exhibitor Award at the Copperbelt, Agricultural, Mining, Industrial, Networking and Exhibition (CAMINEX) trade expo in Kitwe.
The Trade Expo which was until now known as The Copperbelt Agriculture and Mining Show was held from the 6th to 8th June, 2017 under the theme ‘Adding Value –The Home Grown Solution’.
Speaking after receiving the award, Zambia Railways Limited Managing Director, Christopher Musonda said the award was a sign that the railway firm has made tremendous improvements in its operations and services by adding value to the transportation chain.
Mr Musonda attributed the win to team work.
“On behalf of Zambia Railways Limited, allow me to appreciate my team for the commitment and innovations that are adding value to the transport logistic chain. This award signifies the value and importance of railway transport in the economic sectors of Zambia” Mr Musonda said.
And in line with the theme, the Zambia Railways stand attracted a number of high profile clients and stakeholders that included, the Guest of Honour, Hon. Margaret Mwanakatwe, Minister of Mines, Hon. Christopher Yaluma, Minister of Livestock and Fisheries, Hon. Michael Katambo and other senior government officials.
Zambia Railways stand showcased current projects and programmes being carried out such as the remanufacturing of locomotives and wagons, the inter-modal initiative aimed at servicing companies that are not yet rail linked, the Intermine rail connectivity on the Copperbelt and the new passenger service among others.
During her stand orientation, Ms Mwanakatwe was informed that the re-manufacturing of obsolete locomotives in partnership with SMH Rail of Malaysia was progressing well, and that three locomotives have been completed while the other seven were in the process of rehabilitation.
The Minister was further informed that the Zambia Railways Engineering Division at Workshops successfully carried out the remanufacturing of bottom discharge wagons into side tipping wagons to suit the current customer needs in the mining industry.
The other initiatives showcased at the CAMINEX Show include; the rail connectivity of Chambishi Copper Smelter to the main network for transportation of various mining products to the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Inter- modal initiative being done in partnership with Zambian Furnance Supplies for the transportation of coal from the Batoka Coal Mines in Southern Province to Bwana Mkubwa in Ndola for customers that are not yet rail linked.
The 2017 CAMINEX saw a number of new comers including the Nacala Corridor Logistics.
The Expo also for the first time included Seminars and Presentations by key industry players and academics.