MASVINGO - Glen Livet Hotel, an upmarket lakeside lodge on the eastern side of Mutirikwi Dam has been sold to new owners.
The hotel which is about 40km from Masvingo along Masvingo Mutare Road is now owned by Thembisa Trust, prominent lawyer Thembinkosi Magwaliba who is one of the trustees has confirmed.
The hotel was bought from Candid Investments (Pvt) Ltd by acquiring entire shares from that company. Although the sale was sealed on April 8, 2016, full payment in terms of the agreement was done in November 2016.
Magwaliba added that extensive renovation and improvement of the hotel including landscaping is already under way in a bid to bring the facility to the highest possible standards found at similar resorts elsewhere in the world.
He said the current depressed economic performance of the country which has affected tourist arrivals was not going to deter the new shareholder from making new investments into the business venture.
Although The Mirror could not establish the selling price of the hotel, Magwaliba said that Thembisa Trust bought both the hotel and Glen Livet Farm in which the hotel is located.
The previous owner, Dr Richard Mark Condon whose family controlled Candid Investments could not be contacted for comment.
"By way of an agreement of sale the shareholding in Candid Investments was bought by the trustees for Thembisa Trust on April 8, 2016. Payment in terms of the agreement was made to the sellers in November 2016.
"Since November 2016 therefore, Glen Livet Farm and Glen Livet Hotel (buildings) have been owned and controlled by Candid Investments (Pvt) Ltd which is owned and controlled by the trustees of Thembisa Trust," said Magwaliba.
However, the hotel business at Glen Livet is owned and being run under a lease agreement by Muncheon Safaris (Pvt) Ltd which trades as Glen Livet Mountain Inn which in turn is owned by Barry Binder. Binder and his manager, Samukele Mungozi has been running the hotel business for the last 17 years and negotiations are also underway for a company known as Nineteen Eleven Ventures which is linked to the present directors of Candid Investments and trustees of Thembisa Trust to take over.
"We have plans to upgrade the hotel and we have already installed wifi through a Telone satellite dish. We will upgrade the bedrooms by bringing in new bedding and we will also upgrade the dining, kitchen, lounge and conferencing facilties," said Magwaliba.
He also said facilities including a tennis court and a swimming pool will be reconstructed while mountain climbing and horse riding trails will be reintroduced.
Glen Livet is tucked away at the bottom of the Nyuni range of mountains which are probably the tallest geographical features in Masvingo and run along the eastern stretch of the lake.
The direction to the hotel from Masvingo City is 28km along Mutare Road then 14km into a right turn after Mutirikwi River Bridge.