Central East African Railways (Cear) has decried acts of vandalism, saying the company is losing a lot of money through the vice which also threatens new investments.
Speaking in an interview on Friday on the sidelines of the Railway Safety Sensitisation Awareness at St Theresa Primary School in Liwonde, Machinga, Cear communications officer Chisomo Mwamadi said the company is failing to make new investments because budgeted funds are channeled to replacement of vandalised structures.
He said: “Wherever we are operating, we are losing a lot of money through vandalism. People are getting our rails and slippers and sell them to different companies that manufacture steel.
“So, it [vandalism] is a big challenge because we are failing to move forward as a company. Instead of us investing the money in other ventures, we are back to the repairs to make sure that the line is usable. We are spending billions of kwacha.”
Mwamadi said apart from vandalism, encroachment is another challenge as people are settling close to railway lines which is dangerous to human life.
On the sensitisation meeting, Mwamadi said they decided to address the pupils together with their parents on the dangers of playing along the railway line which is dangerous.
In 2010, Brazil mining group Vale Logistics Limited acquired a stake in Cear with a pledge to transform Malawi into a regional hub in Southern Africa.
Cear started operating in Malawi in 1999 under a 20-year concession. The company took over operations of the then State-run Malawi Railways. n