Swiss Experts to Complete Mt Hampden Luxury Villas for SADC Summit

Chairman and founding owner of Mabetex group Mr Behgjet Pacolli, along with the former Chairman of CBZ Holdings (Mr Marc Holtzman), Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Zimbabwe (Minister Shava) and Mr Korab Toplica (Business Development Director Mabetex group), in New York UNGA, Special dinner hosted by Mr Marc Holtzman in honour for HE President Emerson Mnangagwa, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe. New York, 18th September 2023
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HARARE – A team of 500 experts from Switzerland is set to arrive in Zimbabwe to finalize the construction of 18 state-of-the-art villas in Mt Hampden, intended to host high-level dignitaries during the 44th SADC Heads of State and Government Summit in August.

According to the Sunday News, the Swiss contingent from Mabetex Group, a renowned civil engineering and construction company, will collaborate with 300 local artisans to ensure the project’s completion. Mabetex is known for its large-scale construction projects, including historical renovations, administrative and public buildings, industrial plants, and urban development.

Construction of the villas is already underway and is slated for completion by mid-July, well ahead of the summit scheduled from August 8 to 18. The government is prioritizing infrastructure development to ensure the successful hosting of this regional event.

Deputy Chief Secretary and National Coordinator for Flagship Programmes and Projects in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Engineer Amos Marawa, expressed confidence that all major infrastructure projects will be finalized by June 30.

“We already have a team of experts from Mabetex, and we are expecting up to 500 experts to join us. They have assured us that each villa will take two days to erect, with six teams working in parallel. We are confident they will finish ahead of the summit,” said Eng Marawa.

The villas will be constructed using precast technology, with panels currently en route to the port of Beira. Transporting these panels to the site will commence next week.

Mabetex’s involvement follows an invitation extended to President Emmerson Mnangagwa to visit Switzerland to review their work. The company has committed to participating in the construction of the villas, a conference center in Mt Hampden, and Zimbabwe’s chanceries in four missions.

The government is also finalizing accommodation arrangements for summit delegates. Key hotels such as Rainbow Towers, Meikles Hotel (Hyatt Regency), and Crown Plaza Monomotapa will host Heads of State and their delegations. Other delegates will be accommodated at Jameson Hotel, Holiday Inn, Cresta Lodge, Cresta Msasa, and other establishments within the city.

“We have secured accommodation for up to 11 Heads of State and Government at Rainbow Towers, and 48 standard rooms for VIPs and senior officials. Under Hyatt, we expect to accommodate up to eight Heads of State and 70 deluxe rooms for VIPs and senior officials. At Monomotapa, we will have one presidential suite and two executive suites for our VVIPs,” Marawa added.

The recently refurbished Hyatt Regency will provide additional accommodation for up to eight Heads of State and close to 100 VIP delegates.

Preparations also include the completion and furnishing of the VVIP State Pavilion at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, which will be used by high-level dignitaries. Roadworks leading from the airport to Harare hotels and around the capital are on track to be completed on time.

The SADC summit will commence with a five-day senior officials meeting, running from August 8 to 18.