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Zimbabwe pens US$81,2m NRZ wagons, locomotives deal

by Staff reporter
16 Jun 2023 at 07:48hrs | Views
THERE is a ray of light for the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), after Government signed a US$81,2 million deal with India for the procurement of 315 wagons and nine locomotives.
The potentially game-changing deal was signed yesterday evening on the sidelines of the 18th Confederation of Indian Industry-Exim Bank Conclave on India-Africa Growth Partnership, which ends here today.

NRZ managing director Mrs Respinah Zinyanduko and RITES executive director Mr Rakesh Bahl, signed the agreement on behalf of their companies and countries.

Information, Publicity and  Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, led the Zimbabwe delegation of Government officials who witnessed the signing ceremony.

From the Indian side, Joint Secretary – Ministry of External Affairs Mr Punnet Roy Kundal, was present.

Minister Mutsvangwa said the deal was "very important" as it will go a long way in protecting the country's road network, which is under pressure from haulage trucks carrying various goods including coal, bricks, seed and fertilisers.

"The relationship between India and Zimbabwe is deepening and we will be able to see the bulk transportation of goods out of our roads; you  know that bulk carriages have to be done by National Railways and that will save our roads. We know we are repairing our roads in Zimbabwe and this deal is a very good and welcome development as NRZ will  have locomotives," said Minister Mutsvangwa.

Mrs Zinyanduko said: "The signing of this agreement is a great milestone to the NRZ. As you may be aware, NRZ had taken years and years without recapitalisation and this initiative that was facilitated by the Government of Zimbabwe through engagement with the government of India which resulted in us and RITES signing this agreement today (yesterday) will definitely assist us to have solid locomotives and wagons to carry our cargo to the ports," she said.

Zimbabwe's Ambassador to India, Dr Godfrey Chipare, said he was "very happy with this deal" as it underlined the excellent bilateral relations between the two countries.

Finance  and Economic Development Deputy Minister, Clemence Chiduwa said: "If you look at the agenda that we have for 2021 to 2023 going forward, we are looking at a transformative growth that is robust.

Deputy Minister of Finance Clemence Chiduwa

"Its growth is hinged on 14 priority areas (under NDS1) and one such priority area is on infrastructure development.

"This funding structure is good for the development of Zimbabwe. It is good because if you look at the US$12 billion mining sector (contribution by this year), the growth of manufacturing, the growth of agriculture, all that requires rail.

"So, we are very happy as this is aiding to the transformative agenda that we have as a country."

RITES is a company of repute, which is owned 100 percent by the Indian government.

Recently, RITES supplied locomotives and wagons to CFM of Mozambique and President Mnangagwa was invited by his counterpart, Filipe Nyusi for their commissioning.

It was after the commissioning of CFM's wagons and locomotives that NRZ officials were advised to engage RITES for a similar deal.

Source - The Chronicle