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Zimbabwe: Govt Signs $1,2bn Tourism Investment Deal
President Mnangagwa yesterday witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding that will unlock $1,2 billion worth of investments into the tourism and hospitality industry from a Chinese company, which had been denied the deal for three years under the previous dispensation.
Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Priscah Mupfumira yesterday signed the MoU with Touchroad International Holdings Group in Hanzhou Province, China at a ceremony witnessed by President Mnangagwa, several Government ministers and captains of industry.
Touchroad had initially approached former president Mugabe's Government three years ago, but was inexplicably shut out. It took just a few days for President Mnangagwa to ratify the MoU.
In an interview soon after the signing ceremony, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive Dr Karikoga Kaseke said the deal showed that indeed Zimbabwe was now open for business.
"We are very excited as an industry that Zimbabwe is now open for real business, thanks to the new political dispensation led by President Mnangagwa.
"Tourism was the most closed sector. We now realised that a lot of things were being blocked, for example this proposal from Touchroad International Holdings was given to the previous administration, but they sat on it. What questions or due diligence were they undertaking which needed three years as the new leadership took less than a day to assess the same proposal?
"I don't understand why this proposal was hidden from us ZTA as the implementing agency. I can't be blamed for smelling a rat, a very big rat for that matter," he said.
Touchroad International Holdings is a privately-owned company headquartered in Shanghai, China, with business interests in several sectors. Its international arm has operations in more than 25 African countries that include Namibia and Djibouti.