President Hakainde Hichilema today commissioned the TAZARA Memorial Park which has been constructed in honor of staff that died during the construction of the Tanzania Zambia Railway TAZARA and other projects in the country.
In delivering his keynote speech, President Hichilema said the memorial park serves as a reminder of the great efforts made by the staff of TAZARA and the leaders of Zambia, Tanzania and China and that their memory could only be truly honored by revamping TAZARA and ensuring that it continues to serve the purpose for which it was formed.
“We remember our fallen heroes lying in here, lying elsewhere in Tanzania, the Chinese. We remember our foreign heroes, Zambian citizens who died and are buried in different locations. It would have been nice to bury them in the same location as their counterparts. We remember those fallen heroes lying in Tanzania to give us this asset. The best way of remembering them is to revive this asset, this investment” he said
The Head of State reiterated government’s commitment to revamping TAZARA in collaboration with the Tanzania and China and disclosed that Zambia, Tanzania and China are already in talks on the operationalization of the rail line stating that operationalization of the rail line is crucial for the Country as it will improve the transportation sector and take the load off roads which are being damaged by heavy duty usage.
“We dedicated ourselves to revive TAZARA. Again, go back to our partnership. China, Tanzania, Zambia. Get this line a huge investment, get it a standard rail line, and get the speed onto it for Cargo and people. Take off the load from roads, damaging our roads at a huge cost” he said
President Hichilema said the commitment and love for the Country that was shown by the leaders of their three countries at the time should be emulated and valued.
Mr Hichilema challenged the current leadership to introspect and think of ways in which they can do better than what was done by the leaders before, for the benefit of future generations.
“I challenge us leaders of the day to ask ourselves those two questions: do I appreciate the work of others that came before me? What am I doing to make life better for those that are coming after me? When we begin to apply our minds in that way, we begin to be more committed. First, we respect those that came before us, then we are committed and remind ourselves of what we have done today to better the lives of those that are coming after us. So tomorrow must be better than yesterday,” he added
He called for proper utilization of investments such as TAZARA in order to elongate their lifespan to continue providing the social and economic value for future generations.
He also tasked the Tourism Minister to ensure that the Memorial Site becomes a tourism package for the Country to be able to attract more tourists to the site.
And speaking at the same event, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Zambia Du Xiaohui said the construction of TAZARA portrayed the spirits of equality, perseverance, internationalism and mutual benefit and cooperation and that the best memory that can be given to the staff that sacrificed on the project is to revive the rail line.
Mr. Xiaohui said revamping the rail line once reactivated will help improve transportation for the Country, promote economic cooperation with China and contribute to regional integration.
“TAZARA has always embodied the characteristics of the spirit of China, Africa, friendships and cooperation. By jointly building the family of the build and yield corporation and implementing the global development initiative, China, Zambia and Tanzania based on their own development strategies have shared development opportunities and achieved common development. Your Excellency, ladies and gentlemen, the best way to commemorate the martyrs of TAZARA is to reactivate the railway,” he added
Meanwhile, High Commissioner of the United Republic of Tanzania to Zambia Hassan Yahya says the construction of the memorial serves as a reminder of the hard work that was exhibited by the people of China towards the construction of the TAZARA railway and hailed the Presidents of Zambia and Tanzania for their resolve to revamp TAZARA during their recent meeting.
Mr. Yahya thanked the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation for constructing the monument which he said will serve both as a tourist attraction as well as a museum to remind the people of the great sacrifices made during the construction of the rail line.
“This is a great moment for the people of the Republic of Tanzania, as well as for the people of Zambia whereby we now exhibit the hard work that was put forward by our brothers and sisters from China towards the building of this great infrastructure, the TAZARA rail way acronym Uhuru railway, which is now acronym TAZARA. I don’t have much to say but indeed our two presidents met recently in Dar- es Salaam and came up with a great resolve that this great infrastructure should be put back to its great days,” he said.
Meanwhile Chieftainess Nkomeshya Mukamambo II expressed gratitude to her chiefdom and Lusaka province for the construction of the memorial and has called on Zambians to protect the investment and commit to work as a team.