Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) is scheduled to receive an USD 80 million injection from the governments of Tanzania and Zambia to be disbursed immediately in order to cover operations of the company in the form of working capital and outstanding employee salaries.
The railway firm, which has suffered from low productivity and operational disruptions following several months of on-off strikes by workers, will use some of the capial injections to purchase fuels and lubricants for the trains.
“The governments of Tanzania and Zambia […] have agreed to inject $80 million into the operations of TAZARA in the next 12 months, of which $9.2 million is to be disbursed immediately to cater for two months of outstanding employees’ salary arrears and some working capital,” said Conrad Simuchile, a spokesperson for TAZARA, in a recent statement.
The Chinese-built railway runs 1,860 km and is a key route for copper exports from both Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo to Tanzania’s port of Dar es Salaam.
Zambia Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications, Yamfwa Mukanga, indicated in a report by Zambia Daily Mail that a commitment from all players is essential to reviving the railway “We must all put in what we can so that this company is turned around,” said Mt. Mukanga, “If we are all committed, this company will be revived. We must find lasting solutions.”
According to the current chairperson of the Council of Ministers, Tanzania’s Minister of Transport Harrison Mwakyembe, the two governments will not allow TAZARA to collapse.