Stakeholders in the oil industry have urged the government to consider recapitalising the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) for it to play a leading role in the transport sector.
The stakeholders, who attended a public hearing organised by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy chaired by Guruve South MP Edward Chindori-Chininga on Monday, said the fact that the NRZ was operating at 30% of capacity was adversely affecting the fuel industry.
“There is need for the rehabilitation of the NRZ because they have a serious shortage of wagons,” said a stakeholder. “Is there a way to ensure the NRZ comes into play and assists in the movement of fuel?”
Secretary for Energy and Power Development Justin Mupamhanga said the country’s fuel pipeline had the capacity of pumping only 3,5 million litres of fuel per day and yet the country could bring in five million litres per day.
He said it was imperative for the NRZ to come into play to ease the fuel problems.
Uzumba MP Simbaneuta Mudarikwa said if 3,5 million litres could be brought into Zimbabwe per day, recapitalising the NRZ would ensure an additional
1, 5 million litres of fuel could be transported through rail.
“If we are able to do 3,5 million litres via the pipeline and Zimbabwe has the capacity to bring in five million litres per day, then we can anticipate that the balance of 1,5 million can be done by the NRZ. Unfortunately they are unable to do it,” said Mudarikwa.
Mupamhanga said government ended up introducing a fuel levy of four cents on all fuel road users to discourage them from using the road as a mode of transport and switch over to the rail system.
Chindori-Chininga said Noczim should desist from diverting fuel so that oil companies could restore their confidence in the company.
“You need to build confidence in the industry so that companies involved in fuel have confidence that their fuel will not be diverted. There are many oil companies in casualty because of mismanagement at Noczim,” Chindori-Chininga said.