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Waiting in vain for a train in DR Congo
BBC ^ | November 24th 2011 | Julian Keane

Posted on 11/24/2011 2:24:38 AM PST by Cardhu

Alexandre Mapokopero is proud to work for SNCC, the national railway of the Democratic Republic of Congo, but the last time he actually mounted a train was back in June.

As chief train attendant in the southern city of Lubumbashi, his job is to attend to passengers' every needs while they are travelling.

He turns up for work every day but there is no work to go to because so few of the country's trains are actually running.

Mr Mapokopero complains that he is owed more than 60 months' back-pay.

"I can't afford to resign," he says, hoping that one day, the company will resume payments.

"I'm scared that if I quit I may lose all my benefits, including my pension."

'A big mess' Continue reading the main story “ Start Quote We have no locomotives, no carriages” End Quote Alexandre Mapokopero

Train attendant

Congo to revamp decrepit railways

Ahead next week's elections, the state of the rail network reveals all one needs to know about the vast country's problems, past and present.

Originally designed to meet the transport demands of the mineral companies, it is still failing to meet the needs of ordinary Congolese.

Like much in DR Congo, it is old, run-down, badly managed and in desperate need of an overhaul.

"There is a big mess in the Congolese rail system," says Mbuyu Kikidji, who used to run the national rail company.

"First of all the rail system is very old. The management is also old. And the equipment is old," he says.

"And there's not a proper vision to where this railroad is going."

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: drcongo; trains
"A journey which normally takes me three days, can take as much as a week, or even more. "

Resigned to her fate, she adds: "It's always like this, but what can I do?

"I haven't got enough money to buy a plane ticket."

Poor woman and we think we have it bad.

1 posted on 11/24/2011 2:24:42 AM PST by Cardhu
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To: Cardhu

Send a big Thank-You to the Belgian Embassy.

2 posted on 11/24/2011 3:37:30 AM PST by Tainan (Cogito, ergo conservatus sum)
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To: Tainan

The trains ran when it was the Belgian Congo. Blame the US and the Marshall Plan’s European debt relief “deal.” African colonies gained independence a generation too soon.

3 posted on 11/24/2011 3:54:28 AM PST by Tzfat
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To: Cardhu
If the DR Congo privatize the railroad, the passenger trains would run on time. I think it might be bad for some small towns, but it would create some nice modern trains.

Of course, if AMTRAK was privatized, small of our trains, such as the California Zephyr, would be gone. Passenger service on trains could be profitable, since air traffic is getting expensive.

Yes I am a railfan.

4 posted on 11/24/2011 4:27:13 AM PST by ExCTCitizen (Cain/West 2012....what would the RACISTS LIBERALS say???)
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To: ExCTCitizen
I am a railfan too, with memories of riding the old New York Central.

A compomise would be for the Feds to get rid of Amtrak and get bids from the various railroads to operate passenger service. They could do it cheaper and better than Amtrak and the railroads would not lose by it.

5 posted on 11/24/2011 4:39:59 AM PST by Jimmy Valentine (DemocRATS - when they speak, they lie; when they are silent, they are stealing the American Dream)
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To: Cardhu

Mr Mapokopero complains that he is owed more than 60 months’ back-pay. “I can’t afford to resign,” he says

Talk about TOTAL STUPIDITY! He’s worked for over 5 years without pay and then makes a statement like that. Can’t afford to resign! Gee, I wonder if at about 58 months ago why he didn’t start looking for some other way to make an income?

The Congo is still “stone age” by the will of the people and nothing else. You make your bed and you lay in it to sleep. No truer statement.

6 posted on 11/24/2011 4:47:39 AM PST by DH (Once the tainted finger of government touches anything the rot begins)
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To: Cardhu; wardaddy

If the resource-rich Congo was populated by Germans or Japanese, it would be a global economic superpower.

You can “carbon date” African countries back to their “liberation” from colonial rule by the state of their infrastructure.

7 posted on 11/24/2011 5:33:16 AM PST by Travis McGee (
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To: DH

50 years ago the Congo infrastructure was far from “stone age.”

What happened? To answer, one must grasp the nettle of un-PC reality. Mustn’t go there!

8 posted on 11/24/2011 5:37:35 AM PST by Travis McGee (
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To: Cardhu
-----he is owed more than 60 months' back-pay-----

Fortunately, he still has his red stapler

9 posted on 11/24/2011 5:46:26 AM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 ..... Crucifixion is coming)
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