According to a statement released by special assistant to the President for press and public relations Mr George Chellah, the president said there was a need to examine the concession agreement to protect Zambia's railway infrastructure from further deterioration because RSZ has allegedly failed to invest in the assets and improve operations.

Sata says the railway is critical to the country's economic development, and stresses that the government needs to act to improve RSZ.

The government decided to concession the freight and passenger services of Zambia Railways to the private sector in March 2000 and after a process of competitive bidding, the erstwhile Zambia Privatisation Agency (ZPA) awarded the concession to RSZ.

On February 14 2003, the government signed a freight concession agreement with RSZ and this was followed by the signing of the passenger concession in August 2003. RSZ took over operations of Zambia Railways Limited on December 3 2003.

The government has also indicated that it wants to upgrade the 163km line from Livingstone to Mulobezi, which is not included in the RSZ concession.