What was seen as a done deal is now crumbling. The South African hotel operator Peermont Global Limited, which signed a deal in May this year with Malawi Government to manage new hotel facility in capital Lilongwe has shown signs of backing off from the arrangement after inspecting the facility and observed that it is below standard for their operation.
Nyasa Times has been reliably informed that Peermont management recently made a thorough inspection of all the buildings that make up the facility and was not impressed mainly with the substandard construction works.
According to an inside source closer to the deal the Peermont group that visited the place found out that some of the fittings and walls in the buildings have already started showing signs of wearing out and crumbling despite that most part of the facility has never been used.
“The team that visited all the structures was not impressed and there is fear that if they go ahead taking up management of the facility it would affect their reputation as an international brand. At the moment the final handover arrangements have been put on hold until a thorough report is presented by the team,” said the source.
The Lilongwe hotel built by the Bingu wa Mutharika administration with the assistance from the Chinese Government was christened Umodzi Park and comprise of an international conference centre, a 130 five-star hotel and presidential village.
The hotel goes by the name of Presidential Hotel, while the 3,500 seater conference centre was named Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) and the presidential village is called Umodzi Presidential Villas.
Most parts of the facility had stayed for closer to three years since completion without government finding the official operator after some contractual squables in the process.
So far it is only the BICC facilities which have been in use and were being managed by a local hotel chain Sunbird Hotels under the tag of Umodzi Properties Limited.
“Peermont mainly blame the Chinese contractors for a shoddy work on the multi-billion kwacha facility. At the moment Malawi Government has been left with little options on how to go ahead with the management of the facility, it might end up being managed by Sunbird Hotels,” said the source.
Malawi and the South African based company signed a management agreement in May this year and there was an expectation that handovers will be concluded by November this same year for the facility to start operating under Peermont Hotels.
The facilities were built with US$100 million Chinese concession loan payable in 30 years.
With the complex Malawi Government was looking forward to providing world class tourism service.
The choice of Peermont was regarded as was strategic to give the complex internationally recognized brand to provide confidence to the travellers about the destination and improve overall destination’s perception.
It was also envisaged that with such an internationally recognized brand the place would easily attract international business.
Peermont Global owns and operates several properties in South Africa like Emperors Palace and Grand Palm among others and in Botswana they manage Gaborone International Convention International Centre.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :