Posted by Sombe Longwani

Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) Board of Directors led by Board Chairperson Mr Emmanuel Hachipuka undertook a familiarisation tour of Chipata -Mchinji railway line.

Speaking during a courtesy call on the Provincial Administration, Mr Hachipuka said the Board and the Government are keen to see train operations resume on the Nacala Corridor once all the challenges on the corridor are addressed.

He said Zambia Railways Limited Board members observed the need to physically tour and inspect the rail line because they wanted to see what is available and how the project can be advanced, as it is a major project.

Mr. Hachipuka noted that they are so many options that can be arrived at to revitalize the rail line and may include the need for government through the Industrial Development Corporation (ICD) to source for some funds to revitalize the rail line.

He added that if government through (IDC) does not find the funds, then a Public Private Partnership (PPP) may be considered in an effort to revive the rail line.

“If the Zambian line is operating and the Malawian side is not operating it does not make any business logic to ran a 24-kilometer train unless you are able to access the rest of the Kilometer on this line right up to Nacala,” he said.

“I wish to report to you that apart from the Board and Zambia Railways being keen on the project, I know that our President Mr. Hakainde Hichilema and his government are very keen to try and build this line. You know that they have been pushing for the Lobito corridor line and they are also looking at the various lines to try and join into Zambia Railways Limited,”.

Mr. Hachipuka further said the Board has developed a Strategic Business Plan (SBP) that will guide the operations of the company for the next five years.

He explained that the plan will see the company make savings and reinvestments after the current one comes to an end.

And in his welcome remarks, Eastern Province Health Director Dr. Matthews Ng’ambi who was representing the Provincial Permanent Secretary Mr Paul Thole stressed on the important role that the rail sub sector plays in the movement of heavy and bulk cargo which helps in decongesting the roads and reducing road carnage.


Other Delegates present were ZRL Board Director Mr Kafula Mwiche,Director Ms Eileen Imbwae, ZRL Acting Managing Director Mr Godfrey Fumbeshi, Central Region Manager Mr. Jawara Mubanga and other officials.

On 9th May, 2014, Zambia Railways Limited resumed train operations on Nacala Corridor until 2016 when train operations were suspended due to washaways in Malawi leading to the closure of Blantyre – Mchinji railway section.

The Nacala Corridor is an important import and export trade channel for Zambia and the sub region. By rail it stretches 1,150km from Chipata to the Port of Nacala through Mchinji the border town in Malawi.The Zambian portion is 24km from Chipata to Mchinji.

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