By Alois Vinga
ZIMBABWE’S loss making rail transporter, National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) will soon launch new routes in a development aimed at generating more revenue for the parastatal.
This was revealed by company press officer, Nyasha Maravanyika while briefing guests at the Zimbabwe Infrastructure Summit in Harare on Wednesday.
Maravanyika said that new trade routes will help the struggling entity improve on efficiency and revenue generation.
“We have a number of projected new routes, one of which intends to cut the distance from Hwange to Harare by avoiding passing through Bulawayo and going straight to Kwekwe.
“There is also the projected route from Harare to Mutoko which will stretch over to Nyamapanda and the Lion’s Den to Kafue route,” he said.
The Kafue route will easily connect the country to Zambia while the Mutoko link will connect with Mozambique with sights set towards improving inter-regional trade in the region.
Maravanyika said government’s recent decision to allow the entity to engage a financial advisor with a top firm Deloitte and Touché Accountants has helped in crafting financial statements that have convinced investors to come on board.
He said that in 2017, after flighting an advert, NRZ managed to attract 82 investors out of which only six were then selected, leaving one entity the Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group -Transnet consortium which reached an agreement with NRZ.
“However, the agreement expired in February this year and the parties have since concurred on the need to extend the framework agreement and we expect the deal to be finalised in the next six months,” Maravanyika said.
The NRZ spokesperson said that all was being done to restore viability and revamp the entity’s infrastructure which is almost a century old.
He said currently, the railway operating company only has five passenger trains servicing the entire country.