By Oliver Kazunga
A legal instrument is being crafted to ban the transportation of bulky goods by road in order to protect the country’s road network and boost National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) operations, a Cabinet Minister has said.
The ailing parastatal faces stiff completion from haulage truck operators, which have also been blamed for the spate of accidents in the country.
Responding to questions during the inaugural Infrastructure Conference at the ongoing Mine Entra expo in Bulawayo yesterday, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joram Gumbo said if allowed to ply the country’s roads, haulage trucks would continue damaging roads.
He said if implemented, the S.I. would go a long way in protecting the National Railways of Zimbabwe.
“Actually we’re planning to have a Statutory Instrument to outlaw bulky goods transportation by road to rail because if we allow big trucks to ply our roads they will be destroying our roads and there will be continuous rehabilitation of the roads.
“The NRZ has been very badly incapacitated and as a result those who would have wanted to move their goods have resorted to using roads,” said Minister Gumbo.
He said the banning of bulky transportation of goods by road is not peculiar to Zimbabwe as it has happened in some Sadc countries.
“It’s (bulky transportation by road) actually a temporary issue which we’re going to address and actually ring fence some of the bulky transportation to the railways.
“It happens in Sadc and we’ll not be the only ones but for now that’s the prevailing situation,” Minister Gumbo said. The Chronicle