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Mutapa Fund moves to resuscitate NRZ; solicits US$431 mln pipeline

Business Reporter

MUTAPA Investment Fund (MIF) is currently working flat out to secure a US$431 million loan which will go a long way to revive the almost defunct National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ).

The MIF CEO ,Dr John Mnangudya  confirmed the development to local private daily on the sidelines of the Afreximbank Annual Meetings in the Bahamas, where he was attending the Afreximbank board and AGM meetings.

He said the MIF  is working with NRZ to secure a US$431 million (loan) from Afreximbank that is required to rehabilitate the railway infrastructure and purchase of new rolling stock,” he said.

“The strategic direction of MIF was to ensure that the facility should be self-liquidating from the take or pay off-take arrangements that will be put in place by NRZ with its customers.

“This is necessary to ensure that the facility does not have recourse to the fiscus”.

The facility has a 12-year tenor.

Mangudya expressed confidence in the NRZ management led by Respina Zinyanduko, saying she “has the drive and passion to transform the fortunes of NRZ. She needs our support and that of the NRZ board to fully execute on this national transport backbone.”

The revitalisation of the railway entity is poised to transform the country’s logistics landscape, boosting efficiency across various economic sectors and alleviating pressure on roads.

NRZ operates about 4 225 km (2 600 miles) of railway lines, all of 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) providing passenger and freight services. The gauge is standard for all of Southern Africa. 

NRZ has an important transit function in the southern part of Africa and is well linked with neighboring countries: toward the north, at Victoria Falls the system links to the Zambia Railways, crossing the Victoria Falls Bridge. Toward the Indian ocean the system links to the Beira Railroad Corporation in Mozambique. A second line toward Mozambique reaches Maputo. 

-AMH

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