January 15, 2015

Tazara rail operations suspended

Written by  Shem Oirere
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TANZANIA Zambia Rail Authority (Tazara) suspended operations on January 12, shortly after employees - who have not been paid for five months - rejected an appeal from the management to "exercise further patience whilst long-term sustainable solutions were sought."

Tazara reported that it had been making a monthly loss of $US 1m since 2013. Low revenues were attributed to a fall in freight volume, which fell from 1.2m tonnes in 1990 to 480,000 tonnes in 2013.

The railway previously stated that it would need $US 770m to make it commercially viable, and has asked the governments of Tanzania and Zambia for further guidance on the matter.

Mr Conrad Simuchule, Tazara's spokesperson, said: "Longstanding operational challenges have seen Tazara operating at a loss for more than 10 years now – losses that have reached a crisis level as the authority has been unable to meet operational costs."

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