ZAMBIA Railways Limited chief executive officer Christopher Musonda says he has a vision of making the organisation a self-financing one.
Musonda said when he featured on ZNBC TV’s Sunday Interview programme that railway transport in Zambia needed to be enhanced.
“We must make Zambia Railways sustainable; we should reach a point where we become a self-financing institution. We should reach a point where we are attractive to private investments. We should reach a point where we are the best employer of choice – where people would say ‘I have finished my university, I would become a railway man’ and we should also be a company where [when] you join you are guaranteed of your contract in terms of remuneration. Can we start running speed trains [and] probably compete with the roads?” Musonda explained when programme host, Chitalu Mulenga, asked him about his vision of the beleaguered parastatal.
He also pointed out that the Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) was exploring various ways of increasing its aggregate tonnage of cargo annually.
“At the time Zambia Railways came in place, figures were around 450,000 metric tonnes per year. This year our target is to carry one million metric tonnes and it means we would have more than doubled, all things being equal. We are definitely going to be above 800,000 metric tonnes. We are going to almost double the tonnages from the time Zambia Railways took over and that is not an easy statistic to move to. We believe that by the time we begin to reach 1.2 million metric tonnes, we should be able to meet our obligations and we should be able to even start looking at surrendering some of our earnings in terms of dividends to the shareholders,” said Musonda.