Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG) single largest shareholder Nicholas van Hoogstraten has described takeover talks by Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief Karikoga Kaseke as “nonsense”.
Van Hoogstraten boasts of about 36% stake in the hospitality group.
Kaseke was recently quoted in the local media saying the tourism body intends to withdraw five hotels from RTG as part of its efforts to enhance business opportunities.
In emailed responses to enquiries from NewsDay, Van Hoogstraten said: “This is nonsense. The ZTA has no such power or authority so this is a pointless question!
“A number of persons in Zimbabwe make foolish comments or assertions and it is unfortunate that the media take up such non issues. It could be that Mr Kaseke was badly advised or misquoted,” said Van Hoogstraten.
“Furthermore, whilst the Government of Zimbabwe did at one time own some 30% of the shares in RTG most of these were sold to the Libyan Arab Investment Authority some years ago.”
Kaseke a fortnight was quoted as having said: “We cannot be a tourism authority without a single hotel or lodge. We have made a decision to repossess Rainbow Towers, Bulawayo Rainbow Hotel, New Ambassador Hotel in Harare, Rainbow Hotel Victoria Falls and a lodge in Hwange. I can’t name the lodge, but it’s a good one in Hwange.”
Tourism and Hospitality minister Walter Mzembi also dismissed the reports as absurd.
In June this year, the business mogul bid to have four proxies sit on the RTG board was thwarted by other shareholders.