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Cabinet approves NRZ recapitalisation programme

CABINET has approved the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ)’s recapitalisation programme which will see the ailing parastatal going into the market to source funding through technical partners and institutional investors.
Addressing journalists in Bulawayo on Saturday, NRZ board chairperson Larry Mavhima said the framework for the recapitalisation of the company was made by cabinet on the 11th of April this month.
“After consideration of the framework on the capitalization of the NRZ submitted to cabinet by the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, cabinet approved the proposed framework subject to the need to encapsulate within the proposal the need to rehabilitate and modernize the current railway systems and the construction of new railway lines to link the country to the Indian and Atlantic sea ports,” said Mavhima.
The board chair said besides the provision of financial risk packages, cabinet has also insisted on the revamping of management at the parastatal.
NRZ had, over the years, been inundated with unsolicited bids but could not make a decision before cabinet approval.
“For many years, we have had unsolicited bids coming from various countries and companies.
“All in all, we had a total of about 22 unsolicited bids which made it very difficult for NRZ to evaluate these bids because each person was bringing their own solutions which they thought or felt we need it,” said the board chairperson.
Mavhima said the company decided to establish a recapitalisation steering committee headed by the board’s deputy chairperson, Retired Brigadier David Chiveza.
“This committee clearly defined what our needs as NRZ were and how we envisaged the recapitalization programme to come out and that process took us a good six month to come up with a framework,” he said.  
The NRZ also plans to establish eight new lines across the country. Some of the new routes include the Lion’s Den–Chirundu, Kadoma-Sengwe, Mvuma-Mutare and the Harare–Nyamapanda line.
The company has been facing numerous challenges which have resulted in workers going for years without getting salaries.
According to Mavhima, the parastatal owes workers around $93 million in unpaid salaries.Advertisement