NWR denies involvement with management of Zambezi Waterfront Tourism Park

Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) has denied any participation with or operation of the Zambezi Waterfront Tourism Park (ZWTP), which is located in Katima Mulilo, Zambezi Region.

This comes after Nampa asked NWR spokesperson Nelson Ashipala about ZWTP’s current state and whether NWR had any new information or update about the park’s upgrade.

Ashipala added that NWR was never in charge of ZWTP and that no agreement was ever reached with the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, despite a proposal for NWR to take over management of ZWTP.

Ashipala said he cannot comment on the current status of ZWTP because the park was never owned by NWR and that there are no plans or updates on the park’s upgrade, thus he cannot respond to the news agency’s inquiry about the park’s condition.

“The park never belonged to, and does not belong to NWR,” he outlined.

This response by NWR is surprising given that Nampa conducted an interview with NWR Managing Director, Matthias Ngwangwama, in June 2022, who stated that NWR agreed in 2020 to administer ZWTP on an interim basis pending the legal and formal transfer and that about N.dollars 100 million was needed to upgrade ZWTP to bring it on par with other international tourism parks.

In essence, he argued that the management services agreement recommended that ZWTP maintain all risks, profits, and losses, while NWR was to administer the facility on ZWTP’s behalf.

He further indicated that in exchange for operating the facility, NWR would earn a share of monthly revenue attributable to ZWTP.

“If it is fully developed, the park will be an attraction for tourists and travellers alike to the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area. It is also a market access to bigger tourist attractions of Victoria Falls and Kavango Delta,” he said.

ZWTP was initially initiated by the Ministry of Finance. In 2014, the park was transferred to the Ministry of Public Enterprises.

As per two Cabinet Decisions, it was decided to transfer Zambezi Waterfront Tourism Park (PTY) Ltd to Namibia Wildlife Resorts.

To date, the legal and formal transfer to give practical effect to the Cabinet decision is still outstanding and ZWTP remains a company until formally dissolved.

Government has so far spent N.dollars 189 million for the development of the ZWTP.

Source: NAMPA