National Railways of Zimbabwe sets record straight on deals

THE National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has deployed all the leased equipment under its interim agreement with the Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG)/Transnet consortium while it awaits financial closure to the $400 million recapitalisation deal, company spokesperson Mr Nyasha Maravanyika said yesterday.

The giant parastatal took delivery of the first batch of the leased railway equipment in February this year. Under the framework, the strategic entity is leasing 13 locomotives, 200 wagons and seven passenger coaches from South African rail utility, Transnet, as a stop gap measure to address its resource gaps affecting operations at NRZ.

Addressing a press conference in Bulawayo, Mr Maravanyika said so far, the railways firm has received 10 locomotives, seven passenger coaches and all the 200 wagons.

“Contrary to certain media reports that the $400 million deal for NRZ is on and that the equipment, which is incompatible has come, we want to set the record straight as NRZ that firstly, the $400 million recapitalisation deal is still something that is ongoing in terms of negotiation,” he said.

“Nothing has been signed yet, we expect that the deal will be signed by end of June or July 2018 and even if it gets signed, it goes through Parliament so that it gets the endorsement.”

Mr Maravanyika also dismissed private media reports that the equipment, because of its alleged incompatibility, was parked, saying before the interim framework agreement, the NRZ indicated the equipment specifications to DIDG/Transnet.

“The equipment has been deployed into operation to our various customers, among them Zimasco. The seven coaches have been deployed on the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls route and we have already realised an increase in patronage where initially with our brown coaches we were ferrying around 200 passengers.

“But with the deployment of the coaches, the coaches are recording over 300 passengers on that route,” said Mr Maravanyika.

Some sections of the media last week reported that NRZ was facing a crisis owing to the incompatibility of railway equipment received from DIDG/Transnet under the $400 million deal.

“On the $400 million deal, as l said, nothing has been signed yet and this means that there is no equipment that has come under the $400 million deal. The equipment that we have is what we call the interim solution equipment, which was received by the President (Emmerson Mnangagwa),” said Mr Maravanyika.

Financial closure of the $400 million investment deal is expected by July this year paving way for repair and rehabilitation of infrastructure and equipment that includes telecommunication systems as well as modernisation of the train control system.

Mr Maravanyika said the equipment that NRZ has received under the interim arrangement was to ensure the parastatal closes its capacity gaps before the $400 million recapitalisation project materialises.

“I think you have heard reports previously when Zimasco was complaining that it had 200 000 tonnes stockpiles of chrome because NRZ was not able to ferry those. That’s when the framework agreement came into place so that NRZ secures equipment from the consortium and we can cover our operational gaps,” he said adding that the equipment under the interim arrangement had nothing to do with the $400 million recapitalisation project.

Once finalised, NRZ is expected to implement a rehabilitation programme of its infrastructure following the signing of a $400 million recapitalisation initiative between DIDG/Transnet last year.

Please follow and like us:
Source: Businessdaily

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » appearance » Widgets » and move a widget into Advertise Widget Zone