The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) would like to set the record straight on wheat deliveries and give information to the nation on the progress made so far.
The NRZ has moved cumulative 570 wagons of wheat to millers in the country between 1 October and 7 November 2018 which translates to a total of 20 800 tonnes of wheat.
At present, there are 15 wagons at Machipanda and 30 at Mutare carrying wheat which are awaiting delivery into the country.
Of these wagons, 39 are expected to be delivered to millers by 8 November 2018.
The NRZ has reverted to collecting wheat from the interchange point at Machipanda after the Mozambican rail authority indicated that it now had enough locomotives to move wagons from Beira to the border of Zimbabwe and Mozambique from where the NRZ takes over the load.
Contrary to recent media reports which held the rail giant responsible for wheat delivery delays, the NRZ would like to express serious concerns over delays by millers in offloading wagons delivered to their premises with wheat.
Millers are failing to offload wagons quickly resulting in them spending days stabled in sidings. This results in delays in returning wagons to Beira to collect more wheat.
At present, millers are holding on to about 200 wagons at their private sidings in Harare which they have not offloaded.
Holding on to the wagons is creating bottlenecks in the transportation of wheat from Beira.
Handling facilities at Beira are able to load 25 wagons a day but on 8 November 2018, only 13 wagons were loaded at the port due to a shortage of wagons.
NRZ is appealing to millers to timeously offload the wagons within the shortest possible time so that they are returned to Mozambique to collect more wheat.
If millers off load wagons timeously, the NRZ would be able to clear the balance of 25 410 tonnes of wheat at Beira awaiting transportation into the country.
The NRZ, once again, reiterates its commitment to providing seamless, efficient, reliable, cost-effective and safe transportation service of goods and passengers in the country.
PUBLIC RELATIONS MANAGER
8 November 2018.