State-owned compulsory pension fund, the National Social Security Authority (NSSA), is eyeing a stake in a proposed Harare hotel as it expands its tentacles in the hospitality business, Business Times can report.
The proposed hotel, to be called Radisson Blu Hotel, will be constructed on a piece of land along Samora Machel Avenue in the Harare’s Eastlea suburb, is being spearheaded by Farai Jere’s investment vehicle, Streamwalk, in partnership with Belgian-American hotel group, Carlson Rezidor, one of world’s largest hospitality groups.
NSSA spokesperson Tendai Mutseyekwa said the cash-rich entity has interest in the new venture.
“NSSA confirms that it is in discussion with the project promoters for the Radisson Blu project,” Mutseyekwa told Business Times.
NSSA has controlling shareholding in Rainbow Tourism Group, one of Zimbabwe’s largest hospitality group.
RTG has interest in the contentious Beitbridge facility, which was initially run as a hotel.
Works on the construction of the proposed Harare hotel was supposed to begin in 2017 with the hotel opening its doors two years later. However, this did not happen due to some complications of the deal.
In 2013, Jere unsuccessfully tried to rope in American hotel group, Hilton WorldWide Hotels.
Hilton Hotels is one of the largest brands in the world with more than 4 600 hotels in more than 100 countries.
But, the deal fell through.
Jere has revived the project, luring Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group,which considers Africa as its biggest growth market, and has expanded its portfolio to 1 400 hotels in operation and under development in more than 100 countries.
It now wants to add Zimbabwe to its growing portfolio.
The hotel group boasts of global brands including Radisson Blu, Quorvus Collection, Radisson RED, and Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson and Country Inns and Suites by Carlson.
It is also understood that the project has also attracted a financial services group which wants to pick up a stake in the 245-bed hotel.
Analysts said the proposed hotel is expected to bring the much-needed relief to Harare in the form of extra beds with the country’s tourism sector set to rebound.
It is expected to add a number of food outlets, offices and retail outlets, among others.