Nyengeterai Dingana, H-Metro Reporter
CHARTER House located at corner Samora Machel Avenue and Julius Nyerere Way is set to be turned into a five-star hotel.
Director of Legal Services in the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Dr Precious Sibiya yesterday confirmed the development during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Mashonaland Holdings Limited and Touchroad International Holding Group.
Dr Sibiya said the MoU signing was testimony that indeed Zimbabwe is open for business.
“This development is indeed significant as it comes at a time when tourism in Harare is in dire need of revitalisation and the need for additional luxurious smart hotels.
“This MoU signing occasion is really a testimony for the Zimbabwe is open for business mantra.
“There is nothing as beautiful and uplifting as transformation of a very old structure 61 years old into a smart modern building and there is no better work in embracing our heritage,” she said.
Dr Sibiya added:
“The project promises to change the face of tourism in the capital by adding a five-star luxurious accommodation thus the Charter House and will cost more than $50 million.
“In Harare and countrywide, there is a shortage of five-star hotels hence the new facility will see at least 80 hotel rooms being added to the current hotel capacity of 2 371 in Harare.
“Even with this additional capacity, we will still be lacking behind in terms of accommodation facility as compared to Johannesburg and Lusaka just to mention a few.”
Dr Sibiya commended Touchroad for expressing interest and coming in to walk the talk in this partnership.
She also thanked Mashonaland Holdings for providing the base for such an investment to take place in the capital city.
Sibiya urged the parties of the MOU to expedite the implementation since a lot of ground work needs to be done.
“This new transformed structure will have a helicopter right at the rooftop so that distinguished guests even yourself may actually approach that hotel from the rooftop.
“The Ministry and ZTA are working in collaboration with relevant local authority bodies to ensure that the drive towards tourism growth behind comes a reality.”
Touchroad International Holdings Chairman He Liehui said their target is to bring thousands of tourists from China to Zimbabwe.
“Charter House will be an international five-star hotel with high security systems.
“Our target is to bring thousands of tourists from China to Zimbabwe every year.
“In Zimbabwe we need a lot of hotels so in future I believe more Chinese Investors will come to invest in hotels and my company will invest more, ”said Liehui.
Liehui said one challenge they will experience is that of the parking space and hopes that the Harare City Council will bring a solution to it.
“I have seen the building, it’s beautiful but the parking lot will be a challenge.
“However, we hope that the council finds a solution.”