Central East African Railways (Cear) has lamented cargo theft by communities along the Nacala Corridor, saying last year the firm lost about $1 million (K740 million).
Cear managing director Gustav Stein said in an interview on Tuesday in Blantyre that the firm is incurring costs due to theft and persistent looting of cargo, adding this is putting a strain on their business.
He was speaking on the sidelines of the seventh stakeholder meeting of the Nacala Corridor railway operations with community leaders, members of Parliament (MPs) from districts along Nacala Corridor and officials from Ministry of Transport and Public Works.
Said Stein: “Cargo theft it worsening and costing us money. Last year for instance, we lost about $1 million and clearly this is a huge risk on our business and investment in the country.
“The bandits attack our trains when passing by Nayuchi, Mkaya and other areas where our trains pass through. They open and remove the goods in the containers mostly fertilisers.”
Senior Chief Kawinga of Machinga admitted to have received reports of cargo theft along the railway line and committed to help the company curb the malpractice.
“We are aware that some members of the community steal cargo from moving trains. This is unfortunate and uncalled for,” he said.
On his part, Ministry of Transport and Public Works chief loading stock officer Christopher Kuyera expressed dismay at the development.