By KETRA KALUNGA
THE governments of Zambia and Tanzania should look for a private equity partner for a joint venture to resuscitate operations at the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA to make it more viable, says an Economist, Highvie Hamududu.
This follows revelations by Ministry of Communications and Transport Permanent Secretary, Misheck Lungu that TAZARA was running at a loss and that the government was putting in place measures that would see it operate profitability.
Mr. Hamududdu who is the leader of the Party of National Unit said in an interview, finding an equity partner to run TAZARA on behalf of the two governments would help end the losses incurred.
He said, “the very Chinese who constructed the railway line are capable of running TAZARA on behalf of the two governments because they would be able to bring in the technology, financing, and discipline.”
Mr. Hamududu explained that China is now the main exporter of commodities in Sub-Saharan Africa and if brought on board, Kapiri Mposhi district which houses TAZARA could be made a dry port for redistribution of many products in the region.
“Let Tanzania and Zambia think bigger, they must look for an equity partner, let this thing be rekindled, and Iam not ashamed to say the very Chinese who put it, give them 50 percent and then Tanzania and Zambia can share 25 percent, 25 percent so that we can have value,” he said.
The opposition leader explained that there was no need for the country to own parastatal companies that continue to make losses hence the need for the equity partner.
The Party of National Unity leaders is of the view that the parastatal companies could only be rescued if a private equity partner was brought on board.
He emphasized the need for a private equity partner who could bring in the technologies, financing, and discipline to stop the political patronage which he said was common in parastatal companies.
Mr. Hamududu stated that, “wherever the government owns parastatal companies, abuse comes in and also decision making is too lengthy”.