The Environmental Management Authority has given Augur Investments the green light to go ahead with their developments in the upmarket Harare suburbs of Borrowdale and Gunhill, including the flagship Mall of Zimbabwe,following the approval of its Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).EMA, which was concerned that part of the land earmarked for the construction of the Zimbabwe Mall were wetlands, says it is now satisfied that the company took concrete measures to preserve the environment and enhance the green belt area in the suburb.
The two parties agreed on some mitigation measures to be carried out on the affected land.
The company was paid the land as part of a barter deal with the Government of Zimbabwe following the company’s financing, designing and construction of part of the Joshua Nkomo Express Highway leading from the city to the Harare International Airport.
Former Harare City Council, Environmental Management Committee chairperson Councillor Stewart Mutizwa whose committee approved the project said the development was welcome as council had already approved the project.
“Our officials had carried out their own Environmental Impact Assessment and we had approved the project and issued it with a development permit long ago. What was left was for EMA to carry out its own assessment.”
“As council, we have nothing against the construction because we gave them the permit. It was scrutinised and found to be above board. I am also happy to hear that EMA has given them the nod to go ahead as it makes everyone happy at the end of the day,” he s aid.
He said when council approved the project, it also had the support of Government with senior ministers endorsing the project.
Cllr Herbert Gomba, the current chairman of the Environmental Management Committee also said the city has nothing against the project going ahead especially now that Augur has cleared the land for development with EMA.
Augur chairman Mr Ken Sharpe confirmed the development yesterday.
“There is nothing further required by Government in order for us to go ahead with the development. We look forward to seeing the projects start this year,” he said.