Work on new Zimre shopping mall starts

Published: 06 February 2018
CONSTRUCTION of a $13 million shopping mall in Victoria Falls has started with the contractor already on site carrying out excavation work on the 1 500-hectare piece of land.

The Zimbabwe Reinsurance (Zimre) Property Investments' project, which will have 24 shops, a car park, restaurants and office space among others, is being built by Masimba Construction.

Guest of honour during the project's ground breaking ceremony in Victoria Falls on Friday, the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Prisca Mupfumira, said the complex, which will be named Sawanga Shopping Mall, will go a long way in the development of the resort town that has since been identified as one of the Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

As part of efforts to promote economic recovery, the Government has adopted the SEZs concept with Victoria Falls having been classified as a tourism hub.

Minister Mupfumira said so far a number of investors were showing interest in partnering Government in developing tourism facilities in the country.

"Ever since my appointment as the Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister under the new Government, I have been inundated with serious inquiries from both local and foreign investors intending to develop tourism facilities in Victoria Falls and other parts of the country.

"As you may all be aware, Victoria Falls is in dire need of product diversification to encourage visitors to this world's wonder to stay longer and contribute to national income," she said.

"Let me take this opportunity to commend Zimre Property Investments for investing $13 million in the development of Sawanga Shopping Mall in Victoria Falls.

"Let me emphasise that today's event marks a turning point for Victoria Falls and will serve as a springboard for increased investment for the resort town."

Minister Mupfumira said the Government has bigger plans to improve the tourism sector in the country and would always be open for investment.

Zimre managing director Mr Edison Muvingi said the project was driven by locals and would see some local and international tenants occupying the mall.

"We have bought all the construction material from the region. This is a Zimbabwean product implemented by Zimre which is exciting for us. Zimbabwe is open for business and so is Victoria Falls as we see the ease of doing business being embraced and implemented," he said.

Speaking during the same occasion, Victoria Falls Town Mayor, Councillor Sifiso Mpofu, said the development will reinforce the town as a destination of choice.

"I am pleased to say that the occasion of this ground breaking ceremony is just but a highlight of several efforts by the Municipality of Victoria Falls to complement Government efforts to build and maintain Zimbabwe's status as a destination of choice by opening up space for investment in the tourism-aligned sector," he said.

Victoria Falls Town Clerk Mr Ronnie Dube said:

"Victoria Falls Municipality remains committed to ensure that every mutually beneficial development is pursued to fruition.

"The mall is earmarked to be one of the most revered infrastructures set to unlock the potential of the town as a major contributor to the economic development of the nation and add on to a number of other exciting adventures in the town."

Construction of the shopping complex is expected to take one year.
- chronicle
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