Mabuwa urges NRZ Byo revival

Industry and Commerce deputy minister Chiratidzo Iris Mabuwa has called on South African companies to come and invest in Bulawayo, particularly in the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) as it was key to the revival of the city’s industries.


Addressing delegates at the Investment and Trade Initiative meeting in Bulawayo yesterday, Mabuwa said, “There has been talk about the National Railways of Zimbabwe and its resuscitation. Bulawayo is the mouthpiece because it headquarters the NRZ. To this end, Bulawayo is saying while the NRZ is feeding the other arteries: what is it that it was doing for Bulawayo.”

She said the NRZ was providing for the development of an industrial base by the engineering, catering and clothing companies among others.

“Therefore, it is clear how the collapse of the NRZ took the oxygen off from many Bulawayo companies. Bulawayo is now connected to the international world by the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport which offers the business community direct and quick access to the international community but you will agree it would be very expensive to move the goods. Movement of personnel, yes it’s more efficient, but not the movement of goods,” Mabuwa said.

She, however, said even though the region has been hit hard by the economic decline it does not mean that there were no opportunities to exploit.

“The most important starting point in this region is the revival of NRZ. The NRZ is the lifeline of industry as it is the cheapest mode of transporting goods, bulk and non-perishable goods.

“The NRZ still exists, but operating at a very low capacity due to depleted infrastructure of locomotives that have outlived their economic lifespan. The investors are, therefore, invited to partner the NRZ through the establishment of joint ventures. Other investors may wish to finance its operations. It is, therefore, my hope that industry competitiveness would be regained and Bulawayo will come back to life.”

Mabuwa said the textile industry was once thriving in Zimbabwe employing more than 35 000 people, but was now employing only 3 000.

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  1. Untill the root causes of why the NRZ went to wreck and ruin are addressed, only a brain dead dofo with money to burn invest in it.

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  3. There are several influential and “well connected” persons that own road haulage operations who will not take kindly to talk about the revival of NRZ and will do their utmost to frustrate efforts to that effect. Government needs to consider NRZ and other struggling entities that are of strategic importance such as CSC etc, as special cases for attention. One way towards reviving NRZ in particular, would be the charging of a special levy to road haulers at all toll-gates, in addition to the normal toll charges. the levy will then be placed into a fund meant specifically for the rail network’s resuscitation.

    1. Well it’s not fair practice to penalise another transport mode for the benefit of resuscitating the railways. Gvt can easily privatise and allow private operators to pay and fund railway operations and investment. This eliminates also the gross incompetency and corruption we are witnessing.

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