Mzembi appoints board to spearhead tourism venture

HARARE - Tourism minister Walter Mzembi has unveiled a board of directors for Mosi-oa-Tunya Development Company (MTDC) to spearhead the development of an eco-Disneyland theme park on 274 hectares in the country’s prime tourist destination Victoria Falls.

Announcing the new board, chaired by First Mutual Life Assurance managing director Ruth Ncube, Mzembi said the board’s immediate task was to drive the modernisation of the resort town.

“This project on its own will be the game changer as it will provide for the diversification of tourism products in the town of Victoria Falls. The board has to ensure we find investors for this project and it will be prudent to issue out an international call of expression of interest,” Mzembi told a press conference on Monday.

He noted that the project, which seeks partners to develop the land by building new infrastructure such as hotels, conference facilities and casinos among others, was a litmus test for the board.

This comes as last year during BBC’s Hard Talk interview, Mzembi revealed that players on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) were interested in becoming partners of the project.

“Government is working on a framework to introduce special economic zones and the Victoria Falls area has been identified as a pilot phase and this will complement the modernisation of the resort town,” said Mzembi.

The board is expected to be guided by the National Tourism Master Plan, which will provide an organised and structured framework for sustainable tourism development in Zimbabwe.

“It will identify new frontiers for tourism development throughout the country’s 10 provinces,” he said.

Mzembi added that “One of the issues that we have discovered is that there is a crisis of confidence especially relating to property rights within the sector. We have decided to fix that. Government will underwrite that through Mosi- oa-Tunya so that investors have confidence”.

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