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Chegutu Lodge taking Dedza tourism to another level

December 22, 2023 / Christopher Jimu Chegutu
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Chegutu is a district in Zimbabwe where the first President of Malawi Hastings Kamuzu Banda stayed at one point in the 1960’s before Malawi’s independence.

In the 1960’s Chegutu was known as Hartley. But as one way of keeping history, Entrepreneur Cassim Alli has opened Chegutu Lodge in Dedza.

Alli says he wants to still be connected to Zimbabwe where his father once worked in the mines.

He says though construction of the lodge is yet to finish with the structure now 90 percent, he has been pressured by clients yearning for quality accommodation in the district to open earlier than planned.

Charges for the eight rooms that are operational range from K10,000 up to K15,000 and they are all self-contained, fully tiled, spacious and cozy.

With a fully stocked restaurant, customers can order any meal they want for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Said Alli in an interview: “Dedza being a frontier town needs modern facilities and I was compelled to build the lodge here because of demand. Travelers from Zimbabwe, South Africa and even Mozambique pass through Dedza. In some instances, the travelers spend a night or two here and they need quality accommodation. The town is growing and on top of that there are tourist attractions such as Chongoni painted rocks, Dedza Pottery and Kungoni, sites that attract tourists.”

Dedza is also home to renowned secondary schools such as Dedza and Marist.

The two schools have produced distinguished individuals in society including top politicians and presidents.

“Dedza has a rich history and there are many individuals who have shaped their careers here or live in this district. We want to expand this facility and currently a hall is under construction and once completed we will be holding conferences, weddings and even other social gatherings,” said Alli.

The lodge is situated along the Blantyre-Lilongwe M1 road very close to the dip tank. It is also near a service station, shops, banks and other important facilities in Dedza including Ashley’s Bar, the Dedza Stadium and a coffee shop.

A regular customer to the facility Elliot Joloza was candid and frank in his assessment of the new lodge saying it has brought new standards in the hospitality industry in the district.

“This place is secure, close to the main road, has modern facilities and the staff are also very friendly. Every time I am sleeping over in Dedza I spend my nights at this lodge,” said Joloza.

He then called on government to assist up and coming businesses with loans so that they can expand and offer more employment opportunities to Malawians.

“When we talk of 1-million jobs we want Malawians such as Alli to be able to access loans so that they can employ many people. In that way they will be able to help government reduce unemployment,” said Joloza.

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