Zimbabwe’s Machipanda Railway Line From Byo Side Restored To Access Mozambique Coast

Zimbabwe’s Machipanda Railway Line From Bulawayo side has seen its restoration access the Mozambique Coast with funding from the African Development Bank and the South African Development Community amongst other funders upgrading the 318km section of the line traversing Mozambique, including straightening the alignment considerably.

Development on the project was halted by the Covid-19 pandemic as well as delayed imports of rail from Europe and political instability in northern Mozambique which saw Zimbabwe and other Southern neighbors joining hands to fight terrorism.

Nevertheless, end of last month November, the line was finally officially opened by the presidents of the two countries. Freight and passenger services finally began on December 11.

Resultantly Freight tonnage is expected to rise to 3.5 million tonnes or more per year, providing crisis-ridden Zimbabwe with a welcome economic boost including a much-needed influx of foreign currency.

Apparently the railway will also ease road congestion between the two countries, which has reached breaking point with long tailbacks; an estimated 300-500 lorries per day cross the border at Forbes Border Post in Mutare alone.

“Our roads are being damaged because of increased traffic. With this railway there will be improvements in movement of goods,” Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Mozambique, Mr Victor Matemadanda, told the Media.

Also Speaking at the inauguration, Zimbabwe’s president, Dr Emmerson Mnangagwa, indicated that Zimbabwe could upgrade its side of the route as well.

“I came here with several ministers from Zimbabwe, and I was telling them as we were moving on the train that none of them must sleep until they invite me to travel on a similar train in Zimbabwe,” he said. “I want the job done yesterday.”

Southern African nations , including Mozambique opened the upgraded line to the port of Beira with Mozambiuque president, Filipe Nyusi, addressing the inauguration ceremony alongside his Zimbabwean counterpart President Dr Mnangagwa.

The landlocked country has regained access by rail to the port of Beira in neighbouring Mozambique following the reopening of the Mozambique section of the cross-border Machipanda line from Zimbabwe’s second city, Bulawayo.

Machipanda line was Originally built in the late 19th century, the line has faced many challenges over the years, including the 1977-1992 civil war in Mozambique, during which the railways were mined, and a failed privatisation attempt in the 2000s. The state of disrepair eventually was such that trains would derail several times a week in spite of being limited to a maximum speed of 60km/h.

Ross Moyo

Starlink Yet To Pay Application Fees – Mavetera

Previous article

Zimbabwe To Make A Killing Exporting Water To SA

Next article


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *