|Zim to use tent for UNWTO conference?|
|Saturday, 28 July 2012 20:17|
ZIMBABWE is likely to use a tent as its convention centre during the 2013 United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly next year amid reports that the Government has not yet secured the $300 million needed to build a permanent structure, Public Works Minister Gabuza Joel Gabuza has said.
In an interview, Minister Gabuza revealed that the Government was broke to raise the money needed for the construction of a permanent convention centre.
“About $300 million is needed for the construction of the convention centre and the government cannot raise that money,’’ said the minister.
Alternatively, he said the Government was planning to invite private players to partner in constructing the convention centre.
“What we intend to do is to invite private investors to come and construct the convention centre. What the government is going to do is to raise the initial capital for the project and then invite private players to come in later,’’ he said.
The minister said in the event that they fail to build the proper convention centre they would opt to use a tent.
“If we fail to put the permanent infrastructure we have a plan B of putting up a tent’’ he said.
Minister Gabuza, however, said despite the current challenges, preparations were going on in Victoria Falls where the event is going to be held.
“The preparations are going on and we have cleared the sight where we intend to put up the convention centre and we are having a ground-breaking function at the site this week on Monday (last week),’’ said the minister.
UNWTO regulations require that the host nations transport delegates to the venue as soon as they reach its boarders.
Victoria Falls needs a new convention centre with 4 000 plus seating capacity where it is anticipated that delegates around 4 000 were expected.
The new conference centre is among the problems Zimbabwe has to solve in 12 months before the event kicks off.