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The City of Harare has turned down plans by the Town Clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi to convert Harare House into an elite hospitality management school after the business committee refused to buy the idea.

Harare House is the controversial mayoral mansion located in Gunhill which had been lying idle for more than a decade before it was turned into council offices earlier this year.

Minutes of council’s business committee dated December 15, show that Dr Mahachi had sought authority to sign a joint venture agreement between council and Vinal Hospitality to convert the mansion into a hospitality school.

“The committee had considered a report (December 3, 2014 circulated with the Agenda) by the Town Clerk requesting authority to conclude and sign the Joint Venture Agreement between City of Harare and Vinal Hospitality (Pvt) Ltd for the running of an elite hospitality management school (Swiss Hotel School) utilising the current Harare House premises.

“The Town clerk reported that in addition to the hospitality school, the grounds at Harare House would be revamped to create a high class facility. The business would offer a diploma in Hospitality Management and enrolment of students was expected to progressively increase from 2015 to 2019,” read the minutes.

The request was turned down.

“The committee felt that the joint venture with Swiss Partner for training hospitality using Harare House was not in the best interest of council.

It was the committee’s view that council retains Harare House for internal use.

The business committee, however, said they could consider taking part in the deal if other premises were acquired.

“The committee further expressed the view that council could consider an alternative stand that could be developed by the company for the same purposes under a joint venture agreement.”

Source : The Herald