Zimbabwe – World-famous American billionaire and founder of computer software giant Microsoft Mr William Gates, popularly known as Bill Gates, is in Zimbabwe on a private visit, sources quoted by the state owned Sunday Mail have said.
The paper reports that the family touched down at Buffalo Range Airport before proceeding to the exclusive Malilangwe Game Reserve on Tuesday.
Although his itinerary could not be obtained by last night, it is understood he is in Zimbabwe on a six-day visit.
Mr Gates and the consultancy firm handling his itinerary were however not reached for comment by the paper.
Sources revealed that Mr Gates is staying at the top-class Singita Pamushana Lodge where a five-bedroom luxury private retreat costs US$5 785 per night for up to six guests, according to the paper.
Apart frm Gates, several welathy business people have visited Zimbabwe in the past 15 years and they include secretary of state Hillary Clinton and several other western businessmen. These kinds of high profile visits have been seen encouraging government authoritiesas they try to restore the tourism industry after years of decline.
The Gates family has charitable interests in Zimbabwe and last year, Mrs Gates availed a US$5 million fund through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for developmental projects in Harare.
The fund is expected to see the construction of houses for low-income earners and less-privileged members of society in Dzivaresekwa.
It is also targeted at improving waste management in the capital. A high-powered delegation representing the Foundation visited Zimbabwe to check progress on the projects and expressed its commitment to seeing the projects through.
The team also held discussions with Harare Mayor Mr Muchadeyi Masunda. Malilangwe Game Reserve is fast-proving popular among international personalities who wish to view Zimbabwe’s tourist attractions.
Last year, Colombian singer Shakira made a surprise visit to the resort. A top European politician is also understood to have enjoyed the comfort of the game reserve. Set on massive tracts of land measuring about 130 000 acres, the reserve is home to picturesque scenery that includes expansive wildlife, spectacular rock paintings, lush forests and “magical” sandstone outcrops.
Born William Henry Gates, Mr Gates founded Microsoft, the world’s largest personal computer software.