Great Zimbabwe Monuments upgrade: Boon for local tourism

By Sharon Chimenya


THE upgrading of the Great Zimbabwe Monuments is set to add tourist and
cultural impetus to the country as the monument will attract much more than it
is at the moment.
The three million Euro Great Zimbabwe Development Project, funded by
French Development Agency, which was launched by President Emmerson
Mnangagwa in June this year, seeks to improve the documentation and
conservation of tangible and intangible heritage of the site, installation of the
interpretation and visitors facilities at the site.
In an interview the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe (NMMZ)
Director, Dr Godfrey Mahachi, said that it had become apparent that the Great
Zimbabwe monuments infrastructure needed to be upgraded so as to speak to
the value of the site.
“The project that we are looking at is to do with the development of Great
Zimbabwe as a heritage site and as tourist attraction. This is coming from a
background of appreciating the fact that Great Zimbabwe can do much more
than it is doing at the moment in terms of providing services, in terms of giving
us the cultural dignity that we require as a people and in terms of just placing
Zimbabwe on the map in terms of our achievements in the area of creation of
civilisation,” he said.
“Over the years, it has become apparent that the infrastructure at the Great
Zimbabwe has not moved along with the times. We need to upgrade the
infrastructure so that it is state-of-the-art, so that it speaks to the value of the
Great Zimbabwe as a monument.”
He said they were hoping to start the implementation of the project beginning of
next year and by 2024 they should have done the greater part of the project
“This project is essentially trying to create a Great Zimbabwe that is consistent
with its values so that as Zimbabweans we can have that pride in heritage which
defines us. Our ancestors did a lot and we can also do them justice by ensuring

that we play our part in presenting Great Zimbabwe to the same level as they
created it.
“We are hoping that this implementation must start beginning of 2023. What we
have been doing is planning, this is why we are talking about inception phases.
And 2023, we must be on the ground implementing the various components of
the project. We expect that come 2024 we should be largely done. The
instruction, the expectation by the Government is that we do so as rapidly as
possible because the resources are there so why should we delay?”
The upgrading is set to boost the tourist numbers. Presently, it is believed that
only 10 percent of the tourists that visit the Victoria Falls proceed to the Great
Zimbabwe monument.
One of the expectations as presented by United Nations Office for Project
Services (UNOPS) is to turn the monuments into an experience and compete
with other tourist destinations.
It is through this project that the province is set to lure ministries to visit
Masvingo and hold strategic plans in the province rather than to continuously
choose Victoria Falls and Nyanga.

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