At least five companies have expressed interest to rehabilitate and connect the country’s railway network to sea ports in the region.
Some of the companies that are interested in the project are from South Africa and China.
Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo said feasibility studies were already underway on the projects that Government wanted to start as soon as possible.
“We want to rehabilitate the railway line from Victoria Falls via Bulawayo and Harare to Mutare,” said Dr Gumbo.
“A Chinese company has already conducted a feasibility study from Victoria Falls to Msasa in Harare but we have said we won’t entertain them until they carry out the feasibility study up to Mutare. They are now in the process of conducting that feasibility study,” said Dr Gumbo.
“We also want a working rail network from Somabhula (in Midlands) to Maputo. Remember Somabhula is the rail junction that links us to Mozambique and South Africa.”
Dr Gumbo said Government was also discussing with Zambia the possibilities of a joint venture railway system rehabilitation from Zambia. Efforts were also underway to construct a railway line from Hwange through Sengwa and Lion’s Den to the Port of Nacala in northern Mozambique, he said.
The Nacala railway system connects Malawi and some cities in Mozambique with the Port of Nacala.
The minister said the railway line was strategic in transporting coal deposits from Sengwa while other railway lines would help link the country with other ports in the region.
Dr Gumbo said with Government adopting command agriculture, it was expected that there would be excess production, which would allow the country to export to neighbouring countries through a vibrant railway network.
He said it was important that Government rehabilitated its railway network, which would attract transit business.
Without a vibrant railway network, Dr Gumbo said, Zimbabwe would continue to lose transit business.