Property giant, Old Mutual Zimbabwe, through its life assurance arm, Old Mutual Life Assurance Company Zimbabwe (OMLAC), is set to construct a four-star hotel in Victoria Falls City, a government minister revealed on Tuesday.
The deal comes as government is working on a feasibility study for the development of bulk infrastructure in the resort city.
Victoria Falls has been designated as a Special Economic Zone, and the feasibility study will inform the viability of the proposed economic activities and infrastructure needs.
To finance and undertake the feasibility study, which will be conducted in the Masuwe Area of the Victoria Falls Economic Zone, OMLAC reportedly agreed to meet the costs amounting to US$430 948.29.
Briefing the media during a post Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, said in exchange for the funding, Government will allocate the corporate giant 55 hectares of land, under lease.
Once OMLAC recovers the cost of the feasibility study (US$430 948.29) it will then have to pay rentals for the land, Minister Mutsvangwa pointed out.
Old Mutual, which is already one of the country’s biggest property owners, is reportedly planning to construct “a four -star hotel with a 5 000-seater conference centre; a hospital facility; a golf course; and a shopping mall.”
Interestingly the latest development comes as Old Mutual is also involved in the construction of the Palm River Hotel in Victoria Falls.
Spencers Creek Pvt Ltd in partnership with Old Mutual Zimbabwe invested approximately US$24,6 million in land and construction of the 71-room four-star hotel, which is expected to commence operations in July this year.
Meanwhile in another development earmarked for the resort city, Government also approved a Joint Venture between the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) and Zambezi Crescent (Pvt) Ltd.
The two entities are in partnership for the revamping and upgrading of all of ZimParks’ lodges at Zambezi Camp in Victoria Falls to an agreed market-related status at a total cost of US$3 009 000.
This amount will be contributed by Zambezi Crescent (Pvt) Ltd while ZimParks will provide exclusive rights to the use of the lodges at the camp and their surroundings.
The project will be implemented as a joint venture over 25 years with the parties sharing profits on a 50/50 basis, according to Minister Mutsvangwa.
She said the joint venture is set to significantly improve the performance of the Zambezi Camp Lodges, which are strategically located along the banks of the Zambezi, but have been performing poorly over the years.