ZIMBABWE’S resort town of Victoria Falls is set to be conferred with city status today by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a move seen as boosting its investment potential.
Mnangagwa arrived in the resort town yesterday, while Local Government minister July Moyo, Matabeleland North Minister of State Richard Moyo and Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda were already in the soon-to-be city ahead of the ceremony.
Speaking soon after receiving Mnangagwa at the airport, Victoria Falls mayor Somvelo Dlamini said all was set for the ceremony, adding that there was a lot of excitement in the town.
“All is set. We are ready and have made necessary arrangements. All that is left is for the President to do the official signing but otherwise it’s all done because he has since made the proclamation,” Dlamini said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Mnangagwa proclaimed Victoria Falls a city through Statutory Instrument 285 of 2020, upgrading the municipality to a city in terms of the Urban Councils Act.
“Whereas in terms of section 141 of the Urban Councils Act Chapter 29:15, it is provided that a growth point, unincorporated urban area, local board or council may apply to the minister in the form and manner prescribed for a change of its status,” the SI.
“Whereas by section 14(2) of the said Act, the minister took necessary steps under the Act to effect the changes applied for and whereas section 5 and 6 of the said Act have been complied with, I consider it desirable to make this proclamation by virtue of powers vested in the President, I do by this proclamation alter the name Victoria Falls Municipality to Victoria Falls City, and also assign the name Victoria Falls to city council.”
The council will also present the President with the Freedom of the City for his contribution to the town’s growth into a city.
Hopes are high that the city status will make the town competitive as a tourism destination.
Players in the tourism sector have said over the years they had played second fiddle to other tourist destinations because Victoria Falls was not appearing among cities despite being home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
It will be the second tourism city in the region after Cape Town. Victoria Falls population is estimated around 40 000.
— Staff Reporter/NewZimbabwe.com