The Sunday News
Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Midlands Correspondent
THE Government is conducting feasibility studies on the construction of a railway line which will link Harare and Lusaka, Zambia through Kariba to improve trade and connectivity between the two countries, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo has said.
In an interview, Dr Gumbo said the Government had plans of modernising its rail system and the construction of the railway line and another linking Harare and Nakala Port in Mozambique through Mashonaland Central were also part of that programme.
Dr Gumbo said the Government had plans of constructing another railway line linking Hwange, Sengwa in Gokwe and Harare to enable coal mining projects and expected Dangote projects to utilise the railway line. Nigerian billionaire Mr Aliko Dangote has expressed interest in investing in coal mining and cement manufacturing sectors whose products need rail transport.
“We are conducting feasibility studies on the construction of a railway line linking Harare and Lusaka in Zambia passing through Kariba and Lions Den. This is the shortest route linking the two capitals and it will help enhance business as the Government seeks to increase and improve the region’s railway interrelations.
“We also have plans of constructing 865 kilometres of railway line linking Harare and Nakala in Mozambique. This is so because Beira is now overcrowded and we would want to start utilising Nakala Port to avoid delays in delivering goods that are transported through the sea,” he said.
During his tour of companies in the Midlands Province early this month, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the country required more than $6 billion for upgrading and mordernising its rail gauge. VP Mnangagwa said there was a need to mordenise the rail gauge adding that the Government had plans of constructing a railway line linking Harare and Beira through Mashonaland Central Province.
“We have a system of railway line which is colonial but now we need to integrate our rail gauge so that it interrelates with countries in the region such as South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique. We have a research committee to work out the interrelations of the rail gauge. “Also we are behind in terms of the type of locomotives that we are using locally so to spend about $6 billion for the infrastructure and mordenise our railway line, we need a railway line from Harare to Beira through Mashonaland Central about 865km. These are some of the programmes we are having to mordenise the railway line for.
“We are targeting to put tarmac on over 4 000km of road. Some roads are going to be widened while some would be dualised.
This will improve the road networking and enhance business and make sure we catch up with other countries in the region,” he said.