By Luckmore Safuli
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has challenged the Victoria Falls Council and other stakeholders to make use of the new city status to grow the tourism industry and transform the resort area into a competitive world-class smart city.
Zimbabwe’s tourism capital Victoria Falls has become the first municipality to be accorded city status under the Second Republic and is now the first city in Matabeleland North Province.
Local Government and Public Works Minister, Honourable July Moyo had the honours of reading the proclamation 9 of 2020 which was signed by His Excellency, President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“I must say that there was unanimous support for the upgrading of Victoria Falls to a city. In your wisdom your Excellency, after looking at the resolutions passed by Parliament on the 2nd of December 2020, you signed that a proclamation is gazetted so that the municipality can become a city.”
The reading of the proclamation was followed by the convening of the first special full council meeting for the City of Victoria Falls.
Addressing the gathering, President Emmerson Mnangagwa implored the council and the Victoria Falls community to make use of the new status to enhance the national image and growth of the tourism industry.
The Tourism Growth Strategy, new Victoria Falls Stock Exchange, the Victoria Falls International Airport and the overall potential of Matabeleland Province are indeed a symbol of hope. Going forward, l exhort the City leadership and all stakeholders to utilise this new status to boost our national image towards growing the tourism sector and other ongoing national investment, trade and modernisation programmes.”
President Mnangagwa pledged his administration’s commitment to the implementation of projects laid out in the Zambezi to Binga Corridor Strategic Development Plan and successful rollout of the devolution agenda.
“My administration is committed to the implementation and completion of projects laid out in the Zambezi to Binga Corridor Strategic Development Plan. This will see the establishment of vibrant and sustainable tourism products in Binga, Sijalila and Mlibizi, among others on the Zambezi tourism corridor.”
As part of efforts to promote excellent services and to address the perennial water woes, President Mnangagwa ordered Local Government and Public Works Minister Honourable July Moyo to initiate the process of transferring water management rights from ZINWA to the local authority.
The Victoria Falls City Council leadership was also challenged to shun corruption and continue to utilise devolution funds to improve service delivery.