A multi-million dollar project focusing on the construction of a holiday resort and a botanical garden at the Rusape dam area is expected to start soon with the project anticipated to promote tourism in Manicaland province.

The area at Rusape dam has been lying idle for many years and taking heed to the call by his Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa that Zimbabwe is open for business, a Bulawayo based non-governmental organisation, Isandla Esihle is set to build a holiday resort with a botanical garden, small animals park, boating and a hotel.

Isandla Esihle Director and National Tree Ambassador, Mr Never Bonde said the project funded by a Germany investor is expected to start in July this year and is an attempt to boost the economy of the small town of Rusape in line with the devolution.

“We looked for a business to venture into and we decided to start a tourism project. When we met with President Mnangagwa in Zambia, he urged us to start tourism projects. Anyone can venture into the tourism business but it is quite expensive. This area has been idle for a longtime, people have been ploughing here and cutting wood for making bricks. We decided to bid for this place when it was advertised by the Rusape Town Council and we won the bid two years ago but things had not been going well,” said Mr Bonde.

According to Mr Bonde, the botanical garden will also be used to preserve medicinal and rare plants.

“In this country, there many species of trees which are being destroyed especially here in Manicaland where most trees are medicinal and rare. So in our botanical garden, we will be planting those trees and keeping them safe. We will also be looking after small animals and flowers so that people can come here and relax and also hold their weddings. In Manicaland, there are not so many cheap places that people can go and refresh and this will be the first of its kind,” he said.

The project will go long way in promoting the Zimbabwe is open for business mantra and also vision 2030 of a middle income economy.