19 July 2016
WHILE the sale of Harare Gardens may be a subject of serious debate among City of Harare councillors and Harare residents at large, one cannot help but admire the noble intentions of the prospective new owner of the land.
The Combined Harare Residents Association may be right in saying the sale of a portion of Harare Gardens to Africa Sun will reduce the cityâ€™s green space but a look at the intended use of the area paints a quite attractive picture.
The refurbishment of the existing Crown Plaza Hotel aside, it is good to note how Africa Sun intend to upgrade public areas within the park and related infrastructure.
The construction of a conference centre with a capacity of over 1 200 is particularly exciting in an area that was known for providing entertainment to Harare residents through events like the Harare International Festival of the Arts (Hifa), theatre in the park and many other music and entertainment shows.
People can be rest assured of an even classier venue for such events â€“ one that is safer than the open air options that were offered by the greater part of Harare gardens.
Having satellite kitchen, ablution facilities, construction of walkway (sky walk) joining facilities to each other, 200-seater open air restaurant offering international and local cuisine and entertainment also has an air of grandeur to it.
This may be party to the facelift that Harare has needed over the past few decades to match other world class cities.
Harare is now a crowded city and its central business district is too small for the cityâ€™s population and such facilities need to be constructed to cater for the growing population and recreate the cityâ€™s former Sunshine City glory.
The availability of secure parking facilities will also be a welcome development in a city where parking is a nightmare for motorists and with the growing number of cars that are imported into the city.
More interesting is the proposed refurbishment of the national art gallery including sponsorship of local artistes.
We have hordes of exceptionally talented artistes whose works are international standards but get nothing for the effort they put into their projects.
If this proposal is followed through we could have a glut of Dominic Benhuras who can help not only improve their welfare but add to the countryâ€™s GDP on a grand scale.
The rehabilitation of les brown swimming pool, ensuring that it will be accessed by the public, construction of health and racquet sports facilities and many other proposed improvements that will create both employment and past time activities for Hararians can only mean this will be a good development for Harare.
One hopes the new owners will deliver as promised.