FORMERLY known as an opulent suburb, Harare’s Borrowdale area is gradually transforming into a commercial hub, not only for the city but the entire Zimbabwe.
With its peace and flamboyance, Borrowdale is attracting big corporates seeking to buy or rent property around the area.
Since 2019, Borrowdale has transformed immensely, with big and small corporates moving to the area.
This has been a result of chaotic and extortionate traffic enforcement by the City of Harare, which has become a thorn in the flesh for businesses and their clients.
Small businesses have followed the bandwagon, moving out of Harare’s CBD, as the cost of clamping cars, and the shady manner in which traffic laws are enforced, has become a source of concern.
Every day, social media is awash with videos of people complaining about the conduct of municipality officials when enforcing traffic laws.
Their conduct can easily be equated to a mafia, but City Fathers keep turning a blind eye. Loads of people are now preferring getting into town using public transport, while some now do business with companies outside town, where they don’t come across City council marshals.
But it is businesses in town that suffers, as customers increasingly avoid getting into the CBD jungle, which is infested by marauding and extortionate marshals.
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It is interesting to note that sometimes city council marshals are seen hiding in street corridors waiting for an opportunity to pounce on unsuspecting motorists.
But big companies that have maintained their presence in the heart of the CBD are those whose day-to-day operations are associated with high numbers of traffic, which means they must maintain a presence in the CBD.
National Social Security Authority (Nssa)’s Celestial Park, despite the controversies, has managed to house big corporates that include the Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe (SECZ), while property company Zimre Holdings disposed of its CBD asset, Zimre Centre to find shelter in Borrowdale just adjacent Celestial Park.
Some corporates like CBZ Holdings have maintained a presence within the CBD while strategically opening other properties in Borrowdale.
Other notable corporates that have so far located shelter in Borrowdale are platinum miner, Zimplats, Econet Wireless’ owned Cassava Smartech and Cimas.
First Mutual Holdings, CABS and Delta Corporation have been the pioneers in Borrowdale while Meikles Limited has also found a home in Borrowdale moving from Nelson Mandela Avenue.
The latest to migrate to Borrowdale is NMB Holdings, which has since completed the construction of a multi-million dollar head office. With the coming in of the country’s largest shopping mall, Zimbabwe Mall, which is along Borrowdale Road, the suburb is set to become the Sandton of Harare, the commercial hub away from the CBD traffic madness.