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Zimbabwean president commissions equip-
ment to help revive state rail company  

HARARE, (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday commissioned railway equipment under a 400 million U.S. dollar investment deal with South Africa’s rail utility Transnet.

Under the deal to revive the country’s dilapidated rail system, state railway company the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) will get 13 locomotives, 200 wagons and 34 passenger coaches as part of government efforts to recapitalize the company.

Mnangagwa commissioned the first batch of the equipment comprising more than half of the equipment and its delivery comes after Transnet last year struck a deal with the Zimbabwe Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group.

Mnangagwa commended the delivery of the refurbished equipment, saying it will help in the revival of the economy through improving efficiency in transportation of both cargo and passengers.

“This development is commendable as it resonates well with our vision to grow our economy,” the president said at the launch of the equipment in Zimbabwe’s second largest city of Bulawayo.

He said an efficient rail system was essential to growing Zimbabwe’s economy and also helped to integrate the country into regional markets.

He expressed government’s commitment to modernizing the country’s railway system and building of new rail networks which penetrate into the region.

Such infrastructure would not only benefit the country but the region as a whole, he said.

Transport minister Joram Gumbo said the rest of the equipment under the deal was expected in the country before end of April.

He said the deal offered a comprehensive solution to the recovery of NRZ, which requires 1.7 billion U.S. dollars to be fully recapitalized.

“The situation on the ground requires urgent attention as NRZ is a critical enabler to the growth of our economy. All the investors that we are attracting require a viable railway system to support anticipated growth in import and and export traffic,” he said.



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