Tinomuda Chakanyuka, Senior Reporter
KENYA Airways will, tomorrow, start offering a direct flight between Nairobi-Victoria Falls and Cape Town, as part of strengthening trilateral trade relations between Zimbabwe, Kenya and South Africa in the tourism industry.
The direct flight to the resort town of Victoria Falls will be the airline’s 52nd destination and its second city in Zimbabwe after Harare.
This will also see the airline increase its operations to Cape Town from the four to six. Kenyan Ambassador to Zimbabwe Ms Lucy Jebet Chelimo told Sunday News that the direct flight will complement tourism between the three countries.
She was speaking on the sidelines of the just-ended 58th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo.
President Mugabe and his Namibian counterpart President Hage Geingob toured the Kenyan stand where the two leaders expressed interest in Kenyan tea and coffee that were on display.
“We define that as a tourist route. The flight will complement tourism between Zimbabwe, Kenya and South Africa,” she said.
“The route will offer guests three leisure holiday options. After experiencing the Coast in Kenya, they can experience the majestic Victoria Falls then finally Cape Town.”
The Kenyan envoy said the Zimbabwean Ambassador to Kenya Mr Kelebert Nkomani will be part of the maiden flight on the new route from Kenya tomorrow.
“The Zimbabwean Ambassador to Kenya will come with the plane and land in Victoria Falls where I will join him for the trip to Cape Town,” she said.
The flight will depart Nairobi at 7.20am, arrive in Victoria Falls at 9.30am, depart Victoria Falls 10.20am and arrive in Cape Town at 1.25pm.
On return the flight will leave Cape Town International Airport at 2.15pm, arrive in Victoria Falls at 5.10pm and depart at 6pm for touchdown in Nairobi at 10pm. Kenya Airways will be the only carrier offering direct services between Victoria Falls and Cape Town.
Ambassador Chelimo said the flight signified the strong bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and Kenya which date back to Zimbabwe’s struggle for independence. She said a number of investors in her country were keen on exploiting business opportunities in Zimbabwe especially in the area of manufacturing.
“Our relations with Zimbabwe have always been very good dating back to the period when Zimbabwe attained its independence. Immediately after Zimbabwe’s independence our President was one of the first Head of State to send his congratulations,” she said.
Ambassador Chelimo added, “There is a lot that can be done to strengthen trade between Zimbabwe and Kenya. A number of investors back home are eager to invest in Zimbabwe and I’m sure some Zimbabwean businesspeople may also want to explore investment opportunities in Kenya”.
Zimbabwean businessman and proprietor of mobile phone network operator Econet Wireless Mr Strive Masiyiwa was reported, in 2015, to be spearheading a drive to attract more investment in Kenya. Mr Masiyiwa was reported to be working with Virgin Group founder Richard Branson in assisting small African companies invest in the energy sector. Kenyan reggae disk jockeys Black Supremacy Sounds also have a huge following in Zimbabwe where they have hosted several sold-out shows in the country’s major cities and towns.