The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) is said to be operating at a loss from its passenger trains.
This was revealed by the NRZ general manager Lewis Mukwada. While addressing the media at the Bulawayo Media Centre, Mukwada said:
Generally, throughout the world, passenger trains are loss-making entities.
Governments, the world over, provide the trains as part of their obligations to communities.
For example, the government has to put up roads through DDF (District Development Fund). So, similarly, with passenger trains, they are all loss-making.
When we introduced the passenger trains to Luveve, we had to use the coaches that were introduced in the 50s and 60s.
They are in a very poor state. We just selected the best and they are the ones that are running.
The government in 1997 promised to give railways money to support the passenger trains but they have not been in a position to do that. It is a burden we have to carry.
We had discussions with the ministry of finance and explained to them the losses we are making.
We also went to the ministry of transport and demonstrated our figures and the papers are now with the ministry of finance.
We are operating with the expectation that the ministry will consider the issue of commuter trains.