via Tourism ministry targets diamonds, gold – DailyNews Live by Kudzai Chawafambira 2 MARCH 2014
The Tourism ministry says it is pursuing investment opportunities in gold and diamond mining.
This comes as the Walter Mzembi-led ministry, in a rather awkward and unprecedented move, last year established a special purpose vehicle, Mosi oa Tunya Development Company.
It said the move was targeted at broadening its revenue base and raise money to fund tourism projects, at a time the country faces a tight national budget.
The investment vehicle will be given the latitude to be as creative as it can in order to mobilise funds for tourism development.
This will include the warehousing of our 1 200 hectares of land that has been given to us by the ministry of Local Government around which we are going to theme a new tourism development in the order of an Eco-Disneyland so that we modernise the Victoria Falls outside its perimeters of the designated World Heritage sites, Mzembi told Businessdaily.
He argued that the venture was not duplicating the Mines†ministry’s role saying “everything was above board”.
Government is encouraging us to adopt new thinking because ministries cannot survive on fiscal support alone,” he said, adding “I am sure you realise that my sector was the least, in terms of budgetary support with about $6 million.”
“We want to get them (tourists) in, get their money and get them out, Mzembi said.
This comes as last year the Tourism ministry struggled to access funds from Treasury to finance the hosting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation general assembly.
Zimbabwe co-hosted the event with Zambia in Victoria Falls.
Last June, the Tourism ministry’s permanent secretary Margaret Sangarwe signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with India government-owned NMDC Limited (NMDC) valid for 90 days.
It was expected that NMDC would require around 60 days to carry out a due diligence to ascertain the exact quantity of resources as well as the financial worth of the deposits.
Chandra Shekar Verma, NMDC managing director and chairperson, said plans to invest in the southern African country is part of his company’s strategy to shore up mineral reserves globally.
The signing of this MoU is a significant step towards ensuring augmentation of NMDC’s mineral reserves and globalisation of its operations, he said.
NMDC is India’s single largest iron ore producer, presently producing about 30 million tonnes of iron ore from three fully mechanised mines that is under the ambit of India’s Steel ministry.
It is involved in the exploration of wide range of minerals including iron ore, copper, rock phosphate, lime stone, dolomite, gypsum, bentonite, magnesite, diamond, tin, tungsten, graphite and beach sands.