The Rastafarian community in the country has made a determination to embark on construction of modern facilities project at Emperor’s view on Zomba Mountain as one way of generating income.
The Rastafarians made the determination when members of the sect held their cultural event which coincided with the anniversary of the Emperor Haile Selassie’s visit to Zomba Plateau in the district 1965.
Vice Publicity Secretary for Rastafarian Cultural Events, Black Peter who is also an elder said on Tuesday during prayers that they will embark on the project upon realizing that the country is losing forex from the plateau.
“We have decided to construct modern facilities and rebrand the area so that tourists who come and visit the place should pay something,” Peter said. “We have organized prayers which will be followed by night Reggae concert to mobilize funds to support the construction project.”
Among other things, Peter said funds which will be raised during the concert would be used to erect a Rastafari Shrine, tourist facilities and support in the planting of indigenous trees at Zomba Plateau.
“Emperor’s view has for many years lost its legacy due to rampant environmental degradation,” he added.
One of the elders in the house of Rastafari, Rasta Bongo Maseko appealed to Zomba residents and different partners to love one another and work together to protect Zomba Mountain and conserve all tourist attraction areas.
Maseko said rapid environmental degradation is one of the indicators that most of the citizens were not patriotic, noting: “Everyone who loves his country is responsible to take part in conserving the environment since that responsibility is not in the hands of government alone.”
District Tourism Officer for Zomba, Young Chiwindo hailed the Rastafarians for holding the event in Zomba as part of promoting tourism in the district.
Chiwindo concurred with the Rastafarians on the need to put good quality structures at the plateau and maintain all tourist attraction areas in general.
“For being one of the tourist attraction sites in Zomba, there is need to put permanent structures on Emperor’s view, which will generate income for the country,” Chiwindo said.
He said the tourism sector has been marketing places like the Queen’s view, Emperor’s view, Chingwe’s Hole, Songani view, Williams Falls whose statuses were not attractive, calling for public – private – partnership support in the initiative.
He described the relationship between the tourism sector and Rastafarians, saying there has always been good coordination. He, therefore, disclosed plans Zomba District Council has for all tourist sites on the plateau through public sector reforms.
“The Rastafarian cultural event being held today will mobilize resources for the community to start rebranding the area as we are waiting for various interventions the district council has through the public sector reforms,” Chiwindo said.
After the prayers on Zomba Plateau, the Rastas participated in a Reggae concert at Robin’s Park in Zomba and they also conducted an arts, talent and cultural exhibition at Gymkhana Club ground in the city.
The Emperor’s view on top of Zomba Mountain was named after King Haile Selassie 1 physically visited the place as part of his visitation to Malawi in 1965.