Home » Travel » Mosi-Oa-Tunya Inaugural Board Named

TOURISM and Hospitality Minister Engineer Walter Mzembi has appointed the inaugural board for Mosi-Oa-Tunya Development Company and immediately tasked it to drive the modernisation of resort town, Victoria Falls.Minister Mzembi said the board’s litmus test was developing tourism facilities in the resort on the 274 hectares which Government donated to the ministry in 2012.

The Tourism Minister said that the firm’s other immediate mandate was finding investors for the project he said will change the face of the iconic tourist resort.

Minister Mzembi said while modernising Victoria Falls would alter and add to the colonial legacy of the infrastructure and stock of tourism facilities in the resort. He said Cabinet directed that the project must take off immediately.

“The board has to ensure we find investors for this project and it will be prudent to issue an international call for expression of interest,” the minister said.

Mosi-Oa-Tunya is a Special Purpose Vehicle for the Ministry of Tourism Hospitality Industry set up to mobilise resources for the United Nations World Tourism General Assembly co-hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia in 2012.

It is expected that the upgraded and refurbishment of Victoria Falls Airport will help drive traffic to the resort as more international airlines would ply the route.

“Victoria Falls is a litmus test for the board and will determine our success going forward as its success will make other stakeholders invite our interests in other national projects,” Minister Mzembi while availing the board.

The board would also be charged with identifying tourism projects of similar appeal across the country, but its immediate focus will be Victoria Falls.

While Government normally discharged its mandates through parastatals and State enterprises, it departed from this norm and embraced a business approach.

Minister Mzembi said development of the firm would be guided by the National Tourism Master Plan, which will provide organised and structured framework for sustainable development of the tourism industry in the country.

He said members of the board had been appointed on the basis of their skills, qualifications and experience in various sectors, both public and private.

The board is chaired by prominent business executive Ms Ruth Ncube who will be deputised by Mr Innocent Gwisai, an architect based in South Africa.

ZTA staffer Mr Reason Machigere, tourism ministry director of policy and research Mr Douglas Runyowa, University of Zimbabwe director physical planning (education), Ms Diana Chimhanda and Mr Arthur Musakwa, Parks and Wildlife Management Authority regional director, also make up the board.

Other members include Ministry of Finance staffer Mr Fidelis Ngorora, surveyor general Mr Edwin Kuvaza, academic Dr Dzidziso Kamuriwo and Ms Victoria Mugabe.

Minister Mzembi also tasked the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority’s newly appointed seven member board to look at ways of right sizing the authority’s staff complement to spare resources for its core mandate.

“This board should be mindful that the Government is on an austerity measures programme due to challenges posed by the economic environment, Minister Mzembi told a media briefing in the capital yesterday.

The Tourism minister said that his ministry could no longer afford to take the business as usual approach to both revenue and expenditure patterns when fiscal support from Government was now an exception needing justification.

“I consequently expect the board to put in place bold measures to ensure that we collect what is due to us and also implement robust cost cutting measures.”

Minister Mzembi said that ZTA should comply with the requirement that the entity’s total employment costs should constitute at most 30 percent of budgeted expenditure while 70 percent should go to operations and programmes.

TelOne Chief Executive Mrs Chipo Mutasa was yesterday appointed the new board chairperson and has replaced business woman, Mrs Marah Hativagone while prominent lawyer Mr James Muzangaza will deputise her.

Other board members include Immigration principal director Mr Clemence Masango, director of national museums Mr Godfrey Mahachi, Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry staffer Douglas Runyowa and Ms Faith Ntabeni and Mr Blessing Munyenyiwa both players in the tourism industry.

Source : The Herald