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Thursday, May 23, 2024

National Railways of Zimbabwe pursues Turkish investment deal

Story Tichaona Kurewa

THE National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) is still pursuing the investment deal with a Turkish firm which is part of ongoing efforts to revive the parastatal.

An NRZ delegation is set to leave for the European country this week ahead of a feedback meeting.

Officials from Turkish construction company, Yappe Merkez were in Zimbabwe last year for an assessment of the NRZ’s assets including locomotives and railway infrastructure.

NRZ board chairperson Advocate Martin Dinha told the ZBC News in Victoria Falls this Sunday that the hunt for a suitable suitor is on course.

“They did a proper technical assessment of the state of the NRZ, so they now want to provide us with findings of what they feel we should attend to and also discuss the issues of the financing aspect,” he said.

“This a very critical outstanding engagement with our Turkish partners,” he added.

Former Hwange Colliery Company board member, Ms Juliana Muskwe is convinced that the NRZ is on the right track adding that the company is a key enabler of the country’s economy.

“The revival of NRZ is critical for the economy of Zimbabwe as it reduces transport costs compared to the use of roads,” she said.

“This will in turn reduce the cost of goods and services. Look at bulk products such as coal, grain and others they are costly to transport them by road.”

“In addition, the resuscitation of NRZ will also increase the lifespan of our roads as trucks with bulky goods damaged roads. The revival of NRZ will also create thousands of jobs direct and indirect, so the process needs to be expedited,” she stated.

The NRZ is on a recovery path with the parastatal targeting to move over three million tonnes of freight in 2023 anchored by commodities such as coal, lithium, and sugar.

Government is rallying parastatals to take the lead in the economic development of the country by contributing more than 40 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as the country leaps towards Vision 2030.

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