HARARE – A delegation from Turkish construction company, Yapi Merkezi is in the country in a move which has brightened prospects for the revival of the National Railways of Zimbabwe, whose transformation under the Second Republic is a priority for the parastatal to contribute towards economic development.
Once a dominant economic player, the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ)’s fortunes waned due to operational challenges resulting in its passenger and cargo holding capacity becoming severely depleted.
Government has since courted a Turkish construction company, Yapi Merkezi, whose officials jetted into the country on Thursday to explore the current state of affairs of the NRZ and rail infrastructure with a view to recapitalise the parastatal.
NRZ Board chairperson Advocate Martin Dinha explained the investor’s visit.
“As you might be aware, several government officials and the NRZ board courted Yapi Merkezi in June in Turkey to kick-start negotiations on how to invest in the parastatal and subsequently an MOU was signed to that effect. Now this reciprocal visit by their officials is to further strengthen that agreement but also to determine the quantum of investment required to resuscitate the parastatal,” he said.
The resumption of passenger rail services following a partnership between NRZ and ZUPCO has sparked huge expectations and widespread pleas from Zimbabweans for government and its partners to immediately inject life into company.
The arrival of Yapi Merkezi officials into the country is no coincidence but follows a visit by NRZ Chairperson Advocate Martin Dinha to Turkey two months ago where they inked an agreement to pave way for the reconstruction of NRZ.
Yapi Merkezi was instrumental in developing Tanzania’s rail ecosystem, hence its courting by Government sends a strong message that definitely NRZ will be back on its feet to serve Zimbabweans and the economy at large. – ZBC