New airport to change face of Manicaland

26 Jan, 2024 - 00:01 0 Views
New airport to change face of Manicaland Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister, Honourable Felix Mhona (second from left), his deputy Honourable Joshua Sacco (left) and Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Advocate Misheck Mugadza (third from left) led a high powered delegation to the airport site

The ManicaPost


Cletus Mushanawani
News Editor

STAKEHOLDERS in Manicaland have welcomed plans to construct a new commercial airport in Mutasa South after land for the project was identified a few kilometres outside Mutare.

Manicaland currently does not have a commercial airport despite being blessed with a lot of tourist attractions.

The province also produces a lot of horticulture produce and precious minerals which need fast modes of transport like air services.

The new airport will be near to one of the biggest inland dams in Zimbabwe – Osborne Dam, Nyanga National Park and Mountain, Mutarazi Falls, Ziwa Monuments, Honde Valley, Nyamombe Falls and Vumba.

It will also give easy access to tourists intending to visit Chimanimani, Hotsprings and Chipinge, among other areas.

Last week on Friday, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister, Honourable Felix Mhona and Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Advocate Misheck Mugadza led a high powered delegation to the airport site.

Minister Mhona hailed Chief Mutasa for giving the airport project the nod since it falls under his jurisdiction.

“We want to thank Chief Mutasa for blessing this project. The land falls under his jurisdiction, and as a development orientated person, he saw value in the project and gave it the nod to go ahead.

“What is also pleasing is that our President, His Excellency, Dr Mnangagwa walks the talk in everything. This airport development will spur economic growth through the fast transportation of goods. Some goods will be transported by road, railway and air.

“Manicaland is known for its minerals and horticulture produce, so this new airport will facilitate the transportation of these products to various local and international destinations, thereby enhancing trade.

“We are now mobilising resources to ensure the construction of this new airport in line with President Mnangagwa’s Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo mantra. The construction of the airport will have a lot of spill-overs, among them employment of locals and the refurbishment of roads,” said Minister Mhona.

Minister Mugadza thanked Government and said the new airport will change the face of Manicaland.

“Initially, Grand Reef Military Base had been earmarked for expansion into a commercial airport, but this was shelved due to a number of reasons. Land was identified in Mutasa South, and we are happy that everyone is agreeable to have the airport built here.

“The airport will change the face of Manicaland. This will boost tourism arrivals in the province as it takes only 30 minutes for one to fly from Harare to Mutare. This means some tourists who will be targeting other areas of attractions in Zimbabwe will reconsider their plans and include Manicaland on their itinerary.

“Tourism growth is driven by tourist arrivals, so with the new airport, we expect more arrivals. We might have many attractions, but if there is no access to them, they will remain hidden to the rest of the world. This will be a thing of the past through massive infrastructure development.

“We also want to see the development of a town around the airport as the land is readily available. We want to promise all those who will be affected by the airport development that they will be relocated to a better place and will be provided with all the basic social amenities they need. Manicaland will never be the same again,” said Minister Mugadza, who is also Member of Parliament for Mutasa South.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Deputy Minister, Honourable Joshua Sacco is equally excited about the development and said: “We do not have an airport in Manicaland and this affects the transportation of people and goods. Tourism, mining and agricultural sectors are also affected by lack of a commercial airport, but I am happy that this will soon be a thing of the past following the construction of the new airport.

“This project will help to develop this province and I would like to applaud the Airport Company of Zimbabwe for prioritising this project. This is one of the major issues I raised when I was appointed Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development – to have an airport in Manicaland.”

Deputy Minister Sacco hails from Manicaland.

Chief Mutasa also welcomed the development saying: “This project was long overdue. We have been looking forward to the airport’s development for a long time.”

A local, Ms Angeline Muponda said the project will create employment for the people of Manicaland.

“We welcome this development as this will create employment for the locals, especially youths and women. Our children were turning to gold panning, but some of them will be employed here during the construction of the airport and even after its completion.

“We hail President Mnangagwa for his visionary leadership which is resulting in massive infrastructure development accross the country. We are looking forward to the completion of this airport as this will change the face of Mutasa District and Manicaland Province as a whole.

“We are also happy that the issue of the relocation of the affected families will be adequately addressed. They should also benefit from this project,” said Ms Muponda.


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