KFC reopens in Zim

HARARE - American fast food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) has reopened in Zimbabwe after a nearly seven-year closure.

The retailer – planning to open about 25 outlets in Zimbabwe – finally unveiled its first shop in Harare on Sunday after more than a year following announcements to restart business in the country.

Sources said the delay in opening was due to country policies, demanding only local chickens to be used.

The new outlet is under a franchise deal with formerly Shingi Mutasa owned fuel stations, Zuva Petroleum.

Businessman Kevin James, owner of Consolidated Farming Investments Limited – a leading investor in the fast food sector in Zimbabwe – is spearheading KFC’s re-entry into Zimbabwe.

James is also the chief executive of South Africa-registered company, Country Bird Holdings Limited, the third biggest chicken supplier in that country.

KFC, which had outlets in Harare and Bulawayo, turned its back on Zimbabwe at the height of the country’s economic crisis in 2007.


 KFC reopened in Zimbabwe. The first outlet was unveiled along 2nd Street Extension in Belgravia. Pic Annie Mpalume

The group, along with other firms, is re-considering the southern African country following its return to stability after adopting the multi-currency system – dominated by the US dollar.

This comes as American fast food chain Burger King Worldwide Incorporated (Burger King) last year expressed plans to open outlets in Zimbabwe as part of efforts to spread its footprint in the sub-Saharan region.

Analysts say the fast food business is increasingly becoming lucrative with global brands progressively turning to emerging markets to offset sluggish growth in traditional economies‚ and Africa presents a compelling opportunity.

In the past three years, the local market has seen the proliferation of new indigenous fast food players.

Before closure, the KFC franchise holder in Zimbabwe was Firmside Investments, which also held the Wimpy franchise.

The newly opened outlet will be the first of 10 planned to open by the end of 2014 and comes after the franchise holders settled a row over chicken imports with local authorities, the sources said.

Initially the franchise wanted to bring chickens from South Africa, but this was in violation of local statutes which ban such imports, delaying the opening by one year.

Comments (11)

I think that Kevin James is Brian James's brother

Ethan - 22 July 2014

Brian James, the former Mutare mayor

Ethan - 22 July 2014

They should definitely use local chickens, this improves the local poultry business and economic growth... no imports lets back ZIM

analyst - 23 July 2014

Local chickens are good!!!

me - 23 July 2014

No GMOs pliz u make us sick, once we discover that the chickens are imported from somewhere all KFCs will force to operate again. Lets support local farmers who're in poultry business.

More Fololo - 23 July 2014

No GMOs pliz u make us sick, once we discover that the chickens are being imported from somewhere all KFC food outlets will be forced not to operate again. Lets support local farmers who 're in poultry business.

More Fololo - 23 July 2014

While I agree that local industry/agriculture need support, I dont think saying GMOs make you sick when we have survived with them all this period since about 2006 when we had nothing of our own. After the GNU, all shops filled to the brim, and fridges with birds ex-RSA which we bought like crazy after a period of 5 years tisingawani nyama mushop! Musada kutinyepera apa!

Pondo nechumi - 23 July 2014

So, what chickens are they using now? Poor reporting. You did not say what chicken they are using. Was the policy changed to allow them to bring 2 week grown chickens from South Africa or has Zim insisted they yes local chickens. Tell us. Finish the story. Next time give us the important facts va reporter or journo whatever you are. Sick of these half baked news article everywhere.

Mhofela - 23 July 2014

The readers need to know that it's the same Kevin James who used to supply Huku ne Masai to the notorious 5 brigade in Mutare while knowing they were butchering the people of Matabeleland ie Gukurahandi . Lets not forget this. Don't support KFC.

wishbone - 24 July 2014

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