Zimbabwe Cricket to build new 10 000 seater stadium in Victoria Falls


VICTORIA FALLS – Plans are already underway for Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) to construct a new 10,000 seater cricket stadium in Victoria Falls, as part of the Masuwe Special Economic Zone project. 

Zimbabwe Cricket building new 10 000 seater cricket stadium in Victoria Falls
ZC chair Tavengwa Mukuhlani said the new stadium should be ready for the 2026 U19 Cricket World Cup. [Image: ESPNcricinfo]

The groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for early December, with the aim of completing the stadium by 2026, when Zimbabwe will host the U19 World Cup.

The Masuwe Special Economic Zone is an initiative by the Zimbabwean government to develop tourism in the region, especially targeting the high-end market. 

The project is overseen by the Mosi-oa-Tunya Development Company, a state-owned enterprise that owns 274.1 hectares of prime land in the Jafuta Masuwe Estate.

ZC is the primary investor in the project, which also includes other facilities such as a five-star convention centre, a golf estate, a medical tourism facility and a commercial central business district. 

The national cricket body hopes to attract top-tier global cricket matches to the region and provide a platform for nurturing young cricket talent on the international stage.

Tavengwa Mukuhlani, ZC chair and Member of Parliament for Mhondoro Ngezi (Zanu-PF), said the cricket body was clear on its aims; and was ready to commence constructing with a view of having the stadium ready to host the 2026 Under 19 Cricket World Cup.

The project has received approval from the government and has been hailed as a milestone for boosting the local economy and sports tourism in Victoria Falls, a Unesco World Heritage Site known for its natural wonder and wildlife.

“ZC becomes the pacesetter on the mega project with numerous other investors showing interest in the project that is set to become a game-changer in Zimbabwe’s tourism with the coming in of sports tourism,” the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism Takaruza Munyanyiwa said after a tour Wednesday as per state media reports. 

“ZC promised to have the groundbreaking for the stadium in the first week of December after which construction will start, and between US$5 million and US$10 million will be invested mainly from grants from the International Cricket Council.”

He added: “This development has become a breaking point towards having sports tourism in our country. This is a serious development that will be a game changer to tourism in Zimbabwe…We believe this development by ZC is going to be a pull factor for other investors to come.”

State media also quoted Mosi-oa-Tunya Development Company chief executive Mr Gabriel Mapondera as saying that the company is currently conducting statutory consultations and is already prepared to enter into agreement(s) with any investors as approved by Government.

“As we speak the department is has started statutory consultations process. We think we can conclude in November and obtain subdivision permits which can then pave way for subdivision and pegging. Now we have a specific allocation for a multi-purpose sport facility which is why Zimbabwe Cricket are here to assess the site,” he said.

Although these latest developments are being lauded as transformative, some observers and environmentalists are cynical about the potential impact of these rapid developments on the pristine natural environment and the land rights of the local communities. 

They have called for more transparency and accountability from the authorities and investors involved in the project.

Authorities nonetheless advocate for sports tourism as instrumental to the economic success of Victoria Falls and the country at large.

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