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Machipanda railway line commissioned

Machipanda railway line commissioned

Story by Josephine Mugiyo, Diplomatic Correspondent

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says Zimbabwe and Mozambique will continue to consolidate the strong ties that exist between the two countries.

He was speaking at the commissioning of the refurbished Machipanda railway line in Mozambique, which is set to improve the movement of goods in the regional bloc.

Rehabilitated for US$200 million, the railway line is expected to improve the movement of goods within the SADC region.

President Mnangagwa congratulated his counterpart for resuscitating the railway line which became obsolete over 20 years ago.

The development will see increased movement of trade goods from the current 600 thousand metric tonnes to 3,5 million tonnes in the first 12 months.

“When I saw the video which was presented just now I realised that indeed ‘Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo’…..I am proud of you my brother and what ours have achieved,” he said.

President Mnangagwa noted that such initiatives promote regional integration.

He added, “We are seeing but we do not realise what we are seeing. When we build these structures we are promoting regional integration.”

Currently, long queues of trucks are the norm on either side of the border. The railway line is expected to address this challenge.

President Nyusi also believes in fostering strong regional integration.

“The rehabilitation of the Machipanda railway line started in about 2019, we had rail moving but had many challenges. We have the privilege to celebrate the commissioning of this railway line. There were a lot of accidents due to curves,” he said.

The event coincided with the Chimoio massacre which claimed the lives of combatants and defenceless refugees on the 23rd of November in 1977 after a merciless attack by the racist colonial regime.

“May I also say today is a historic day in that we in Zimbabwe and our brothers in Mozambique commemorate the Chimoio day where the racist regime killed a lot of people. We should never, therefore, both of us should never forget our rich liberation history for the two countries. This came because our people sacrificed their lives. In Zimbabwe will never forget that our brothers and sisters in Mozambique looked after us as we fought for our democracy. Today we continue to consolidate that friendship,” he said.

More than 5 000 people including liberation fighters, women and children were killed when the Rhodesian military force raided the ZANLA military headquarters at Chimoio in Mozambique in 1977.

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