Last year the company, whose portfolio includes management of hotels in Zimbabwe and Mozambique, announced that it would be running a five-star hotel in Harare. This led to speculations that the group intended to buy either Rainbow Towers or Meikles hotels.
LonZim managing director, Geoff Goss, confirmed this week that they would construct a five-star hotel.
“We have identified a piece of land on which we can build a five-star hotel complex,” said Goss. “We are not currently negotiating to acquire any existing hotel properties in Harare.”
Apart from the anticipated development, LonZim also runs Leopard Rock Hotel near Mutare.
Goss said Leopard Rock has been doing well since it was taken over by the investment company.
“Leopard Rock is an internationally sought after destination,” added Goss. “Our management contract with Lonrho Hotels is proving to be a very successful formula. Occupancy rates and revenues are climbing steadily.”
LonZim also plans to fly the local skies with a low budget domestic airline. Another airline, Fly Kumba, last year failed to take off amid reports that it intended to ply routes which were already serviced by Air Zimbabwe.
Goss said the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) would allow them to fly if they complied with stipulated regulations.
“Lonzim has three suitable passenger and cargo aircraft allocated to the business unit. CAAZ has an open skies policy and as long as we comply with their requirements, we are confident that we will be able to successfully traverse our desired routes,” Goss said.
While other players in the airline business were struggling, Goss said, LonZim would take the advantage of being a “low cost to operate” airline without any of the legacy issues other airlines are encumbered with.
LonZim is listed on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM (an international market for smaller growing companies) and it was formed primarily for long-term active investment to build a portfolio of investments in Zimbabwe. When it was formed four years ago, LonZim said they would look into investments in the tourism, accommodation, infrastructure, transport, commercial and residential property, technology, communications, manufacturing, retail, services, leisure, agricultural and natural resources sectors.
Its profile has been built around these areas.
Their aim is to reap the benefits which are likely to come with the warming of the economy which had stuttered for close to a decade.
Apart from focusing on Zimbabwe, other LonZim operations
are in Mozambique’s Beira Corridor. This is the link between Zimbabwe and the Mozambican coast.