The government plans to reduce the amount of cargo transported by haulage trucks and redirect the freight to the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) in order to preserve the country’s roads.
Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Felix Mhona said the move would help resuscitate NRZ’s fortunes while at the same time decongesting roads.
Zimbabwe’s road network is dilapidated and this forced the government to declare the country’s roads a national disaster a few months ago.
Addressing reporters after touring the NRZ headquarters and facilities in Bulawayo on Friday, Mhona said:
As I take the office, there are a number of issues to be addressed, especially on the state of our roads.
One of the solutions that my ministry is working on is calling on involved parties to participate in decongesting our roads. We can do this by moving heavy cargo from the road to rail.
This will go a long way to also boost cargo for NRZ which was not spared by this lockdown.
Mhona added that since roads have been declared a state of disaster, it is important to decongest them and make sure that do not experience more damage.
Currently, haulage trucks are not permitted on certain public roads and especially in the central business districts of most major towns.
Despite the ban, trucking companies and their drivers regularly ignore this regulation and enter restricted road networks.