President Mnangagwa breaks ground for new City in Mt Hampden
Harare (New Ziana) – As the mantra “building Zimbabwe brick by brick, stone upon stone” unfolds, President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday broke the ground on the building site of a multi-million-dollar Cyber City in Mt Hampden, about 26 kilometers northwest of the capital.
The ceremony heralded the beginning of the construction of Harare’s new Central Business District, which will straddle across 15 500 hectares of land.
The new $500 million Cyber City being built by a United Arab Emirates based company, the Mulk Holdings, is a direct result of Zimbabwe’s engagement and re-engagement agenda and its participation at the Expo Dubai 2020.
It will host the signature Mulk Tower, a five-star hotel, duty free mall, office buildings, luxury villas and recreational facilities, among other features.
The new city is the second major development project in the Mt Hampden area following the anchor project, the new Parliament building, which is now complete.
Officiating at the ground breaking ceremony, President Mnangagwa narrated how the project was conceived after meeting the proprietor of the project Shaji Ul Mulk, when he visited the UAE in March this year for Zimbabwe’s national day at Expo Dubai 2020.
Beaming with joy at the speed at which the investment project was taking shape, President Mnangagwa applauded the focus and commitment shown by Mulk to invest in Zimbabwe, highlighting that it reflected the growing confidence in the government’s progressive policies.
“After discussions at a dinner (in Dubai) these top international business moguls then promised various areas of investment. The chairman, Mr Mulk, said he will be coming to Zimbabwe within the next few weeks and he came, and after discussing with him at State House he was so satisfied that he asked some of his billionaire friends to come and they came and we discussed.
“This happened between March and April. I said to Mr Mulk my desire is to transplant Dubai to Zimbabwe, Mr Mulk agreed to build a smart city. These are the same guys who have built Dubai, so he has agreed to build a smart city better than Dubai,” he said.
“This Cyber City is envisaged to be a key feature that will bring added value to the New City at Mount Hampden set to be developed on over 15 500 hectares of land. The anchor project for the New City, the New Parliament Building, has already been completed.”
President Mnangagwa said the new City presented various investment opportunities in both commercial and residential building development, while the government would prioritise comprehensive planning and auxiliary infrastructure provision, prior to the development of superstructures.
He said it would also help ease development space shortages in Harare, which have been exacerbated by rapid population growth and ageing infrastructure.
“Zimbabwe is on the move and will not be left behind. We are moving. You are the first witnesses of a vision which each one of you has a role to play to actualise.
“This is not the only thing we are going to do here. Next thing, and this is very important to our people, the medical side, we need to have state of the art medical centres in the country. Their friends have also committed to, starting next year, they came and said to Mulk while you build your cyber city, we want to embark on a regeneration and renewal of Harare (the current CBD),” he said.
“I want to emphasize that standards must be maintained and seamless synergies among the investors established. Government Ministries, departments and agencies must do all that is possible to accelerate the roll out and completion of the New City. There is no room for illegal and premature developments.”
President Mnangagwa said the construction of the Cyber-City was in line with the major tenets of Zimbabwe’s National Human Settlements Policy.
He said the Cyber-City would complement government efforts of creating an environment which nurtured brilliant young boys and girls to build a prosperous and modern society for both present and future generations.
“Together with investors, and other stakeholders, my government stands ready to continuously improve the innovation ecosystem that allows the enhanced deployment of ICT skills, research and development, industrial activity, as well as finance to propel this new phase of our country’s development agenda,” he said.
“I invite both local and international investors, start-ups and techno-preneurs to invest in this first of its kind, Cyber City. A new high technology driven age is being birthed in our great motherland, Zimbabwe. Be a part of it, don’t be left behind!”
Speaking at the same event, Mulk described the development as a momentous and historic occasion.
“We are trying to bring the Dubai standard of living to this development,” he said.