4 October 2006

Zimbabwe: Saudi Arabian Firm Eyes Investment in Kariba

Victoria Falls — THE Government's Look East Policy is bearing fruit amid revelations that a Saudi Arabian company is eyeing investment in Kariba and Gonarezhou national parks.

Rani Resorts, an Asian company which already has interests in mining, tourism, and wildlife in Zimbabwe, has shown interest in investing in the two national parks.

The company owns Stanley and Livingstone Hotel in Victoria Falls and is part of Victoria Falls Game Reserve.

The Government gave the company custody of four rhinos last weekend.

A local director of the company, Mr Tirivanhu Mudariki, told The Herald that a feasibility study was already underway to see how it could invest in Kariba and Gonarezhou national parks.

"This is a clear indication that the Look East Policy initiated by the Government is bearing fruit and once all the modalities have been worked upon, necessary announcements would be made," said Mr Mudariki, who is former Member of Parliament for Harare East.

Chairman of Rani Resorts Mr Adel Aujan, who flew into the country at the weekend, said his company was not only committed to tourism but to conservation of wildlife as well and would do all it can to assist Zimbabwe emerge out of the current challenges.

"We view wildlife conservation as an investment in the resources of the country so that future generations can share in the natural resources that should remain part and parcel of everybody's life," said Mr Aujan, at the official handover of the four rhinos over the weekend in the resort town.

The company has already made substantial investment in effort and money into the Victoria Falls private game reserve by way of introducing various species of animals like eland, sable, zebra, giraffe and wildebeest, among others, said Mr Aujan. With the assistance of the Government, he said, they looked forward to introducing roan antelope and nyala into their private reserve.

"What does this mean for us? It means we are committed and we are optimistic about tourism in Zimbabwe. This is why we continue to invest in the country," he said.

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