By ZBC Reporter
Government has expressed concern over the increase of railway related accidents caused by human error with the focus now on implementing the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) turnaround strategy.
It emerged during the commemorations of the Southern African Association (SARA) Railway safety week that lives have been lost while infrastructure is being destroyed as some unruly elements are engaging in illicit activities.
It’s really disheartening that we are losing at least 31 million dollars every year over safety issues. We have a situation where some people decide to commit suicide and end up throwing themselves on moving trains. People die at Railways stations. Such activities end up disrupting all railway operations. It also haunts the drivers.
It’s so sad that we are witnessing a number of derailments which are man made. We have people who create these accidents so that they loot the staff that we will be carrying on our goods trains. We are saying this is for future generations and as such has to be safeguarded. We also have people who are engaging in illegal mining activities digging beneath railway lines thereby destroying important infrastructure.
Government says the ongoing revitalisation of the NRZ is progressing well in line with the national development strategy 1.
The New Government administration led by President Mnangagwa is doing a tremendous job in turning around our railway transport system. Recently we witnessed the introduction of Zupco trains to cushion commuters and the response has been overwhelming from members of the public. We launched the Zupco trains in Harare and soon we will be introducing this in Bulawayo and here in Gweru as we look to revamp our railway transport system, said National Railways of Zimbabwe board chairman Advocate Martin Dinha
Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructure development Honourable Mike Madiro also spoke on the importance of a safe railway system.
Under the auspices of the state enterprises’ reforms that are currently undertaken by government, NRZ shall not be left behind. In as much as we want a safer and efficient railway system, I also urge the NRZ board to ensure a leaner, efficient and hands-on management and staff. Gone are the days of lethargy, laziness, corruption and wasteful use of meagre resources,he said.
The commemorations coincided with the graduation of NRZ security officers as the parastatal seeks to tighten security at the institution.