Posted by Sombe Longwani


Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) has observed with concern the alarming levels of encroachment by illegal traders who are trading close to the railway line at Lusaka’s Kamwala Trading area and other places along the line of rail.

Speaking to Crown TV in an interview , Company Board Chairperson Mr. Emmanuel Hachipuka said trading in the railway reserve land is an offence and a safety risk to the traders in case of an accident.

Mr. Hachipuka disclosed that on several occasions , ZRL has made efforts to remove the illegal traders, but all the efforts have proved futile as traders have kept coming back to encroach ,claiming that they have nowhere to trade from.

“ Unauthorized structures built along the tracks pose a serious risk of accidents and derailments , putting the lives of employees and the communities at stake. This illegal act has led to the unlawful disposal of garbage on or near the railway line which is not only making it difficult for safe train operations “ said Mr. Hachipuka

Mr. Hachipuka stated that ZRL will continue engaging the relevant ministries and other stakeholders in finding a permanent solution to the illegal allocation of land, vending and disposal of waste within ZRL reserve land.

“ With the appointment of the Board ,comprising Directors drawn from the public and private sectors with diverse experience , the Board has constituted Committees to assist it in the execution of duties. One of the Committees constituted is the Real Estates Committee whose composition is drawn from members with experience in business and real estate matters” disclosed Mr. Hachipuka

The Company Board Chairperson added that the Board and Management will look at how best to utilize the ZRL land resource as well as deal with the issue of encroachments.

Mr. Hachipuka said the company is looking to raise financing from its real estate portfolio and this will be through lease, partnerships and where appropriate sale of land.

“In arriving at the best land use, the Board is alive to the need for job creation and will make necessary assessment and cost benefit analyses before making decisions to either evict encroachers or to enter into partnerships with investors and thus create more jobs” said Mr. Hachipuka.

Apart from the ZRL land that has been leased out or sold by Ministry of Lands and Lusaka City Council, the ZRL railway reserve land remains either partially utilized or totally underdeveloped. Thus, due to the vast land owned, ZRL land is susceptible to encroachment which has posed a substantial challenge to the organization as the encroachment compromises the safety and functionality of the railways and has other multifaceted implications. Some of the sections heavily affected by encroachment along the stretch from Lusaka’s Lilayi Siding to Ngwerere Siding include ; Lilayi, Chawama, Kamwala, Garden, Chaisa, Chipata Compound and Ngwerere etc. The encroachments include shops/various businesses, traders, bars, churches, and residential properties.


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