The Sunday News
Vusumuzi Dube and Nqobile Bhebhe, Sunday News Reporters
THE Second Republic’s re-engagement and engagement charm has registered significant progress with a global American incorporated company contracted by the United States of America (USA) Department of Defence celebrating its 10th anniversary in the country.
With vast experience in providing mission support and logistics at locations worldwide, KVG chose Zimbabwe, specifically the picturesque Victoria Falls to celebrate its 10th anniversary. A strong contingent of 92 foreign nationals from the United States of America (USA), France, India, Georgia, Romania, Tunisia, Moldova, Tunisia, Philippines, Poland, Czech Republic, Uzbekistani, Tajikistan, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Kenya, Pakistan, Spain and the United Kingdom (UK) has been in the country since December 1.
The group is composed of the company’s chief executive officer, Mr John Boyer and KVG employees, some with military experience, having worked with the US Navy. The firm has its headquarters in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA and has offices in Sierra Leone, Poland, Ukraine, Moldovia, Romania, UAE, Philippines and Georgia.
The presence of the American firm is a significant milestone in Zimbabwe’s Open for Business policy initiated by President Mnangagwa, who, since coming to power in 2017, has declared that the country “is a friend to all and an enemy to none.”
In addition, the country’s rebuilding image drive is paying dividends by attracting firms headquartered in a country that imposed crippling sanctions on Zimbabwe.
Last Tuesday afternoon at Monde Primary School, in Hwange District, a Sunday News crew saw scores of KVG employees jovially engaged in repairing classroom doors, and windows, and building an ablution facility at the school. During informal engagements with the news crew, some identified themselves as being Romanians and Polish nationals while some spoke in polished American and British ascents. They remarked the country’s hospitality, but could not indicate for how long they will be in the country. Among those attending the community service event at the school included KGV local representative, Ms Lorraine Muzadzi.
In an interview on the sidelines of the work they were doing at Monde Primary, Ms Bethany Long from USA, who is the KVG Global Sales Coordinator, lauded the reception they had received in Zimbabwe, saying their stay had opened their eyes on a lot of factors that have been wrongfully portrayed by the Western media.
“I would say Zimbabwe like a lot of other African countries is portrayed to be dangerous, but I would say from being here it’s actually not dangerous. People are actually loving, kind and very helpful. They will actually look out for you,” she added.
Ms Long debunked the myth that Zimbabwe has an uneducated population.
“I also think that they are also portrayed as poor and uneducated but that’s definitely not the case, people we have met are very intelligent, and they speak English with kindness. Thank you for having us in your country. It has been great to get to experience a more authentic version of Zimbabwe, we had a wonderful time and we will continue having a wonderful time here,” said Ms Long.
She called on the international community not to listen to what was being peddled by some sections of the media and not feel intimidated but to be open minded.
“My colleague is actually from Zimbabwe, so prior to knowing her, I would say my knowledge about Zimbabwe was pretty minimal. I knew obviously about Victoria Falls because it’s a tourist attraction and I knew it was in Africa. Besides that, I knew nothing but since I got to meet her I have learnt a lot about language, culture, traditions. Since being here I have got to see all of those things first hand. We are just driving through the streets and we see wildlife, we see a lot of kind people who will smile at you and wave. So far it has felt a lot inviting because of that reasoning, it has been really nice.”
Ms Long said they sampled some recreational activities in the resort town.
“And of course we have visited a lot of beautiful attractions like the Vic Falls and we dived down the river, so we have seen a lot of the natural side and a lot of animals. It’s a combination of a lot of beautiful and inviting factors,” said Ms Long.
The decision by KVG to choose Zimbabwe as the venue for their anniversary event is a significant stride in President Mnangagwa’s re-engagement efforts. President Mnangagwa’s re-engagement efforts have played a crucial role in attracting international businesses like KVG to Zimbabwe, showcasing the country’s potential as an investment destination and fostering positive relationships with global partners.
In 2023, the majestic Victoria Falls continued to captivate the hearts of people from all walks of life, including several notable celebrities who visited the famous natural wonder, these including luminaries like the Belarusian President, Alexander Lukashenko, and former South African President Jacob Zuma, and European football stars, among others.