President Mnangagwa to lay foundation stone for cricket stadium in Victoria Falls President Mnangagwa

Leonard Ncube, [email protected]

PRESIDENT Mnangagwa is expected to lay the foundation stone to mark the commencement of construction of the 10 000-seater international cricket stadium in Victoria Falls this morning.

Last year, Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) was allocated 10ha of land on Masuwe state land to construct an international stadium and ancillary facilities, which would promote sports tourism and cement Victoria Falls as a world destination of choice.

A traditional ceremony was held at Jafuta Estate on the outskirts of Victoria Falls last month where Government officials met traditional leaders culminating in a handover event by Tourism and Hospitality Industry Deputy Minister, Tongai Mnangagwa, who was representing Minister Barbara Rwodzi.

Government set up Mosi-oa-Tunya Development Company (Pvt) Ltd, a State enterprise as an investment vehicle for the development of tourism in Victoria Falls as it is working hard to implement the much-awaited Masuwe Special Economic Zone.

Mosi-oa-Tunya Development Company owns 274,1 hectares of prime land in Jafuta Masuwe Estate, which is part of the Integrated Victoria Falls Special Economic Zone.

ZC has become the pacesetter on the mega project, which is set to become a game-changer in Zimbabwe’s tourism industry. Between US$5 million and US$10 million will be invested mainly from grants from the International Cricket Council.

The stadium will be used in the hosting of the 2026 and 2027 Cricket World Cup jointly with South Africa and Namibia. This is one of the major projects for the Masuwe Special Economic Zone for Tourism in Victoria Falls where Government earmarks a multi-million dollar project comprising a five-star convention centre with matching flagship hotels and villas, a golf estate, a medical tourism facility, a commercial central business district, an international service centre, high-end residential units and other top-notch facilities.
The project is a significant milestone towards a US$5 billion Tourism and Hospitality Industry by 2025 and a step towards the achievement of Vision 2030.

By yesterday, tents had been pitched on the venue in preparation for the groundbreaking ceremony while organising teams were busy with final teams. Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister, Cde Richard Moyo, said the project is poised to be a game-changer for the province and the country at large.

“All is set for the laying of foundation stone by his Excellency for the cricket stadium. We are finally having the groundbreaking for this project on the Masuwe City project, which had been on the pipeline for a long time and the coming in of the Second Republic has seen that this comes true, we really thank His Excellency President Mnangagwa for all these projects, which have uplifted Matabeleland North,” he said.

“We welcome the developments and look forward to the stadium raising the province Gross Domestic Product. It will not be a cricket stadium only, there are several other five-star facilities to be built. This will diversify Victoria Falls’ economy and we can talk of many projects across different sectors in the province such as coal mining in Hwange and Binga.”

The plan for Masuwe City started in July 2020 following Government approval and Cabinet endorsed a final report for the project last year paving the way for the appointment of a town planner for the project.
Tourism and Hospitality Industry Permanent Secretary Dr Takaruza Munyanyiwa visited the site yesterday.

“The site is ready for tomorrow’s launch date. This is a going to be a huge game-changer not only in Zimbabwe. It’s a big endorsement for Zimbabwe because there are a many countries that play cricket yet we became a choice among many,” he said.

“This is serious investment and we are grateful Zimbabwe has been given this opportunity to make sure no country is left behind. This will be a multi-purpose facility with several other uses including rugby and the significance of this project is that we are taking cricket to the people and showing that Zimbabwe is open for business.”


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