The Indigenous Business Association of Malawi (Ibam) has urged government to invest in railways as a way of reducing landed costs of goods and; hence, heal the countryâ€™s ailing economy.
Ibam was commenting on accidents involving two Central East African Railway (Cear) cargo trains which derailed in Blantyre last week.
Ibam president Mike Mlombwa said in an interview last week that government should invest in railways to avoid such accidents in future and ensure efficiency in the railway transport.
â€œAn efficient railway system will not only help to reduce accidents, but also reduce costs of goods and raw materials.
â€œMost of Ibam members are small and medium-scale entrepreneurs who prefer railway to road transport as a means of transport. But with such accidents, it is becoming scary to use the railway system,â€ he said.
Cear director of marketing Wilfred Ali said they are yet to establish the cause of the accidents.
â€œI currently have nothing tangible as regards the cause of the accidents as our engineers are still investigating the matter,â€ he said.
He, however, bemoaned rampant vandalism on Cear rail sleepers and tracks which he said cause trains to derail.
Ali said rehabilitation of the railway system has started at Kanengo, but expressed the need for a thorough upgrading of the whole system.