THE National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has set aside a $30 million capital budget for 2018, as the ailing parastatal seeks to turnaround its fortunes, while awaiting the $400 million recapitalisation deal to sail through, an official has said.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
NRZ general manager, Lewis Mukwada, told NewsDay in an interview on the sidelines of the company’s tour last week by Transport and Infrastructural Development minister, Joram Gumbo that their capital budget for 2018 was $30 million.
“This year our capital budget is $30 million and it is outside the $400 million recapitalisation deal. With this budget, we are targeting to repair 10 locomotives, 400 wagons and put a radio system between Harare and Mutare. We are also targeting to remove speed restrictions on the track,” Mukwada said.
NRZ is finalising a $400 million recapitalisation deal with a consortium led by the Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG) and South Africa’s Transnet.
Gumbo revealed during the tour that DIDG/Transnet had already mobilised the $400 million and would want them to scale up the deal to $1,7 billion.
Mukwada told NewsDay that under the 100-day programme, NRZ targets to release two locomotives and 100 wagons from its workshop.
“So far we are on course (to reach our target). The one locomotive is almost complete and undergoing trial testing. The other locomotive is being assembled. We are sure we are going to meet our target on the locomotives. On the wagons, we didn’t have some wheels, but we managed to buy some with the CBZ money . . . . So at the end of the 100 days we think we will be able to release the 100 wagons.”
Gumbo said within some few weeks, NRZ would receive about 200 wagons, 20 passenger coaches and 13 locomotives under the $400 million recapitalisation deal.