PF president Edgar Lungu is planning to name the new 18 Coach Modern Luxury TAZARA Passenger Train after himself.
The Tanzania Zambia Railways Authority (TAZARA) had in 2008 (before the PF formed government), budgeted for a new passenger train from China and was to be implemented in 2014 or 2015. As a result, early Novermber 2015, the long awaited brand new passenger tain coaches were brought to TAZARA at Head Office in Dae-es-Salaam Tanzania together with 4 brand new locative engines. The New Train which is yet to be officially launched left the city of Dar-es-Salaam Tanzania to New Kapiri-Mposhi Zambia on Monday (7th December, 2015) and arrived on Thursday (10th December 2015).
The modern newly acquired TAZARA passenger train is the first of its kind to be owned by Zambia and Tanzania, thumbs up to TAZARA Management. But what have come to disturb stake holders are the maneuvers by Zambian State House to name the new train as “Edgar Chagwa Lungu” after President Lungu for political mileage. According to well placed TAZARA and State House Sources, the Government of Zambia is planning to convince the Tanzanian Government to name the train as “Edgar Chagwa Lungu Express Train” and in return allow Tanzanian Nationals to be running and be in full charge of the new train as Conductors, Technicians and Coach Attendants.
As I am writing to you, the entire crew on the new train consists of Tanzanian Nationals and no single Zambian yet the railway line and the train is owned by two countries who have traditionally been working together. This whole scheme is aimed at cheating Zambians that President Lungu is a hard working man who has managed to buy Zambians a new train. This in short is aimed at dubiously trying to revive President Lungu’s lost popularity in PF former strong holds of Northern and Muchinga Provinces. As it is clear here, President Lungu does not mind whether Zambians do not have jobs on the train, provided he has the popularity that probably can make him win the 2016 elections. The President who is reported to be excessively desperate to retain the presidency in 2016, does not want to leave any stone unturned and is ready to sacrifice the life of Zambians just to continue being president up to 2021.
Just imagine the President ready to give away all jobs that come with the historic purchasing of the new 18 coach train to Tanzanians provided the train is named after him so that some Zambians can think that he is the one who initiated the idea of buying the train when the project started during MMD’s rule. The capital project is believed to have been planned and budgeted for during President Mwanawasa’s second term in office and it was clear from the genesis that it would take about 8 to 10 years to be implanted. This means, the PF found the issue already in progress and has now been implemented this time and year when Edgar Lungu is the president by ‘accident’.
The fact that the train has come during the PF or Edgar Lungu’s rule, does not in any way give credit to him and the PF and it is disturbing that the President is desperately trying to gain glory from it which he doesn’t even deserve. The only Railway Project which the PF and President Lungu can boast about is that which involved Zambia Railways where they injected a lot of borrowed Euro Bond money to revive the railway industry. And because of that, no one complained when the Express Passenger Train (which had 16 coaches rehabilitated from South Africa) was named “ Micheal Chilufya Sata Jubilee Train”. So there is no need for President Lungu, his political advisers and hired foreign image builders to impose “Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s name on the train which they never even labored for. What is further amazing is that since the demise of President Micheal Sata, the PF Government has failed to continue running Zambia Railways’ Chambeshi Ordinary Train which used to run from Kapiri Mposhi to Nakonde, much to the disappointment of the Zambian Citizens mainly in Muchinga, Northern and Central Provinces. So instead of wanting to reap where he did not plant, President Lungu should instead be advised to re-introduce the Zambia Railways’ Chambeshi Ordinary Train that was introduced by the late President Sata.
Just as it is with regards to mines and other economic sectors in the country, President Lungu has failed to sustain Zambia Railways and wants to claim credit for the new Tazara train which neither him nor his party played a single role to have it bought. On this, President Lungu is emulating Former President Rupiah Banda who used to claim credit for projects that he never initiated and ended up costing him elections. And the president is following the footsteps of his political god-father and it is clear that he will in 2016 follow his legacy of losing elections to the opposition due to economic mismanagement.