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Monday 31 January 2022

Victoria Falls’s Mkhosana residents left counting losses following heavy rains

Over 60 Mkhosana residents in Victoria Falls had their properties and houses destroyed by heavy rains that have battered the resort city in the past few weeks.  

According to ward 11 councillor Goshen Zhou who visited the affected families, property such as sofas, television sets, doors and kitchen appliances were destroyed.

“In my records, I managed to document over 60 households with families of four or so and all have been affected,” Zhou said.

The persistent rains that began in January, although have not claimed any life in the resort city, affected even those who live in makeshift homes in the Mfelandawonye area.

Among the affected is 56-year-old Nevanji Mudimba who lost most of his property.

“We were sitting in the lounge when my son saw rainwater getting in through the door and because of its sheer force it soon flooded the house and destroyed my property,” Mudimba narrated.

Zhou added that the local authority was not in a position to assist the affected families and appealed to the Civil Protection Unit (CPU) to intervene.

“Council is not able to assist the people, so we hope that the government will and the Civil Protection Unit department has also been notified.”

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) press release of January 21, heavy rainfall has been affecting southern Zambia and neighbouring northern Zimbabwe over the last week, causing river overflow, in particular, the Kafue River and floods that have resulted in casualties and damage.

“In Zambia, media reported, as of 21 January, around 15 000 affected people across the Namwala District (Southern Province),” OCHA said.

“In addition, media also reported around 110 displaced people and 500 affected families across the Choma District in the same and in Zimbabwe, a number of destroyed and damaged houses, some damaged roads and a damaged bridge in Victoria Falls City (Matabeleland North Province).”

Source: Victoria Falls’s Mkhosana residents left counting losses following heavy rainsVictoria Falls’s Mkhosana residents left counting losses following heavy rains (31st Jan 2022)

Sunday 16 January 2022

Refurbished 5-star River Lodge near Victoria Falls Reopens

 - Batoka Hospitality Zimbabwe has been busy during the pandemic, acquiring three lodges around Victoria Falls from Imvelo Safari Lodges.

- The refurbished Zambezi Sands River Lodge will be the first of the new acquisitions to be unveiled in March, followed by Batoka Gorges, and Little Lodge later in 2022.

- The 24-bed lodge on the banks of the Zambezi River, one hour away from the Victoria Falls, has been redesigned by renowned South African interior designer Yvonne O'Brien.

- The refurbished river lodge features a spa and fitness centre, while each suite has its own private plunge pool and a view of the Zambezi River. 

- A 5-star luxury safari lodge on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River, just one hour's drive away from the iconic Victoria Falls, will reopen to the public in March after undergoing an extensive refurbishment.

 

Batoka Hospitality Zimbabwe (BHZ) has made major inroads into the tourism sector around Victoria Falls during the pandemic, acquiring three properties from Imvelo Safari Lodges and embarking on renovations led by renowned South African interior designer Yvonne O'Brien.

The 24-bed Batoka Zambezi Sands River Lodge, and its sister attraction, the Gorges Lodge, was acquired in 2020. During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, O'Brien's contemporary furniture and d├ęcor firm, Private House Company, was enlisted to reconceptualise 11 suites.

The work completed on the lodge in the heart of the Zambezi National Park adds to Private House Company's portfolio of redesigned luxury lodges at Londolozi, Lapalala, and Simbithi, as well as high-end homes and residences in Steyn City, Hyde Park, Dainfern, and Clifton.

The Batoka Zambezi Sands River Lodge will be the first to reopen to the public in March with the 4-star Batoka Gorges, and Little Lodge expected to welcome visitors later in 2022.

"Our vision is to become a leading luxury safari company on the African continent, but we also want to create opportunities for economic growth in the communities we build in. We are empowering the African dream of success through ecotourism and hospitality," said Batoka executive director, Vimbai Masiyiwa, the daughter of Zimbabwean philanthropist and founder of technology giant Econet Global, Strive Masiyiwa.

"As much as we enrich the lives of our guests through a truly authentic African experience, we are building self-sustaining communities across Africa through our brand."

The refurbished river lodge features a spa and fitness centre. Each suite has its own private plunge pool and a view of the Zambezi River. Ghanaian brand R&R Luxury provides complimentary items like toiletries in each of the suites. 

A two-bedroom suite, fit with private swimming pool, lounge, dining room and deck – for those desiring more privacy and opulent "home away from home" – is expected to be unveiled later in the year.

Source: Refurbished 5-star River Lodge near Victoria Falls Reopens  (15/01/22)

Sunday 9 January 2022

Special Economic Zone status for Vic Falls

Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube has designated the Victoria Falls Special Economic Zone as an international financial services centre.

The declaration is contained in Statutory Instrument 4 of 2022 cited as Banking (Declaration of the Victoria Falls Special Economic Zone as an International Financial Services Centre) Notice, 2022.

An international financial services Centre caters for customers outside the jurisdiction of the domestic economy.

Such centres deal with flows of finance, financial products and services across borders.

Last year President Mnangagwa launched the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX), the country’s second stock exchange that exclusively trades in US dollars.

VFEX was established in October 2020 as a subsidiary of the Harare-based Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE).

It is aimed at providing a global platform for the trading of stocks in foreign currency in a way that promotes foreign investment into the country and the southern African region.

The exchange is also one of the many initiatives being implemented by the Zimbabwean government to stabilize the economy and attract foreign direct investment.

Meanwhile, Government has set new passport fees with immediate effect.

The new fees are US$100 for an ordinary passport and US$200 for an emergency one.

The new fees were gazetted by Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe in Statutory Instrument 3 of 2022 cited as Citizenship (Passport Fees) Regulations of 2022.

The new SI repeals SI273 of 2022 that required payment of an additional US$20 processing fee through CBZ Bank.

Last year Government launched the new electronic passport in partnership with Lithuanian company, Garsu Pasaulis.

The development will see the eradication of the passport backlog and production of other primary identity documents.

Source: Special Economic Zone status for Vic Falls (08/01/22)