Victoria Falls — Restructuring conglomerate Zimre Holdings Limited (ZHL), through its Zimre Property Investments, has started constructing a $13 million multi-purpose shopping mall in the resort town.
A ground breaking ceremony was held on Friday on the 1 500 hectare piece of land along Pioneer Road, with construction set to finish in January next year, according to the Contractor, Masimba Construction Company.
To become the first ever shopping mall in Victoria Falls, the complex will be known as Sawanga Shopping Mall and will house 23 tenants including big shops such as Pick'n Pay, banks, restaurants, a car park and offices among others.
Tourism and Hospitality Minister, Prisca Mupfumira, who was guest of honour, said the development was a clear sign of good prospects for the resort town.
She said some investors had shown interest in the development of tourism facilities in the resort town.
"I would want to commend Zimre for investing $13 million into this mall which will surely change the fortunes of Victoria Falls as a destination. This development is indeed significant as it shows renewed confidence in Zimbabwe arising from renewed interest in the country.
"This is testimony of great things to come in the tourism front and we thank Zimre for complementing government efforts to promote local investment," said Minister Mupfumira.
She said the complex will centralise market under one roof thereby ensuring ease of doing business.
The name is derived from the Nambya people's early Chief Sawanga who migrated to Hwange from the Rozvi State.
Zimre managing director, Edson Muvingi, said the mall will be more than an ordinary complex with a lifestyle centre and entertainment hub.
Victoria Falls Town Clerk, Ronnie Dube, challenged the contractor to employ locals saying the project should benefit local people.
A representative from Masimba Construction said actual construction will start in two months after clearing about 15 000 cubic metres of Kalahari sands from the piece of land.
The project comes almost a year after the resort town was identified as one of the Special Economic Zones where government is calling on investors to take up various developmental projects.