By Fungai Lupande
The US$160 million multi-model logistic hub project earmarked for Kanyemba by a United States of America-based company, Zura Southern Africa, is the first such project to be approved by the US government in three decades, the company’s founder, Mr Darren Moore, has said.
Mr Moore, who was speaking at a consultative meeting at Mazowe Hotel, said they are running similar projects in Kenya and Casablanca and are ready to invest in Kanyemba as soon as the green light was given.
“This is the first formally accepted project by the US administration in nearly three decades. We are 100 percent private and we are self-funding. The project will create an international trade hub between Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Zambia (ZIMOZA),” said Mr Moore.
“A permanent bridge is a solution in the future, however, I cannot underwrite a bridge at this time but in the future it is absolutely an option. A floating bridge is a high cost solution which will cost between US$2 and US$3 billion. We will participate in the expansion of the landing bay.
“We are keeping it simple. The project is scalable and self-sustainable with solar power and establishment of a vocational school that will provide us with skilled labour. We will bring our best practices here.
“We will create a customs system that will be used by the three countries to make it easy for trading. We are here to build, own and operate to world class standards. We will safeguard fees and taxes owed to Government. We are here to make a transparent, well- structured, run and accounted logistics operations.”
Provincial physical planning officer Mr Chisainyerwa Chibururu said although the meeting was a consultation for the potential investor, he was taking the opportunity to update the province on developments in Kanyemba.
“In the planning of Kanyemba, we are taking lessons from locations that share similarities with Kanyemba in proximity to the Zambezi River and wildlife, which are Victoria Falls and Kariba,” said Mr Chibururu.
“Vic Falls and Kariba have the Zambezi River as the major natural resource, rich in wildlife, both are gateways into central Africa, governed by the Zambezi River Authority, they co-exist with animals, they both share boundaries with neighbouring countries, climatic conditions are the same — high temperatures and low rainfall patterns.
“The first layout plan was not approved and we are now working on a concept plan. The concept plan is not going to be a statutory plan but an accepted document that will be adopted by the local authority and accepted by the ministry as a plan that will guide the preparation of the layout plan that was stopped.”
All stakeholders at the meeting expressed delight at the investment. Provincial development coordinator Mr Cosmas Chiringa will take the matter to Minister of State for Mashonaland Provincial Affairs Senator Monica Mavhunga.