Investors to set up cable car facility at Tokwe-Mukosi
By Walter Mswazie
CHIVI – The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) is on the verge of luring a South African investors, Cable-Way to set up a cable car facility at the recently commissioned multi-million dollar Tokwe-Mukosi Dam in Chivi District as part of its tourism activity, an official has said.
The investors have asked ZTA to identify three to five sites where they can establish the facility but Tokwe-Mukosi dam is better positioned to benefit from the facility that will attract many visitors.
Speaking to journalists after a tour of the 1,8 billion cubic metres capacity dam ZTA chief executive Dr Karikoga Keseke said there are investors from South Africa who have shown interest to invest in tourism in Zimbabwe around bigger dams and they are prepared to set up business as soon as all the modalities are done.
He said his wish is for the other processes like certification, registration and environmental impact assessment be expedited so that Tokwe-Mukosi starts to generate business for the local people and country at large through tourism.
He said they are vast opportunities that can turn Masvingo into an economic hub through the $260 million dam project, which was commissioned by President Robert Mugabe, in May.
“Regional Tourism Organisation of Southern Africa (RETOSA) has identified an investor who can establish a cable car, which is a tourism transport activities around bigger dams in Zimbabwe. As ZTA, I think we will settle for Tokwe-Mukosi Dam since it is strategic and is on high ground, which is idle for the facility despite the fact that they have asked us to identify three or five sites. The five sites identified include; Tokwe-Mukosi Dam, Kariba Dam, Victoria Falls, Mutare Christmas Pass and Mautarazi Falls in Manicaland ,” said Keseke.
Kaseke said cable car facility is big tourism business through which a number of international tourists may come and be motivated to spend their money on other activities at dams like Tokwe-Mukosi.
“The investors have given us a timeline and I am convinced that they are serious. They have assured us that once the site has been identified, they will, within three months, commence the project.
“This was initiated in South Africa and it is the only country with such tourism facility in Africa as a whole that this is an opportunity for Zimbabwe to enjoy vast tourism benefits from a unique activity. This will definitely attract the whole world once we start to market the dam, we appeal to the media to assist us in this regard.
“Of course we have to undergo consultation stage with the relevant Ministries and other government agencies like the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) on EIA before the project takes off but it should be soon. Masvingo is lagging behind in terms of development and the completion of Tokwe-Mukosi should stand as a launch pad for massive development,” he said.
He said there is a need to address four tenets of tourism which are, attraction meaning that the place should be attractive like what the dam is, there is need for the place to be also accessible through good road network, there should be activities at the place to attract the visitors and after they have enjoyed they would lastly want accommodation, which is the last tenet.
He also added that it is ZTA’s hope for Tokwe-Mukosi to change the face of Masvingo and Zimbabwe at large through tourism.
“There should be boat racing competitions at the dam and that only attracts international visitors who would want to spend their holiday away frfom their country,” he added.
In attendance were Head Planning and Investment Promotion Mr Reason Machigere, ZTA Masvingo provincial manager Mr Daniel Mpande, Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry former permanent secretary Dr Slyvester Maunganidze, Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA).