20 May Joina City celebrates 10 years as the biggest indoor shopping mall in Zimbabwe

By Michael Mashiri
Creative Writer
It is the largest indoor shopping mall the country has, beautiful and lucrative for business, yet
less is known about this facility where one can find everything under one roof, the Joina City.
Everything is called by a name, and there is always some form of inspiration behind that name.
The same applies to Joina City. The name ‘Joina’ was derived from the project visionary’s
mother who was called Joina, he honoured her by naming the towering structure after her.
The building, the brain child of Mr Shingai Mutasa, this year marks 10 years of existence in
the Harare cityscape.

Mr Tendai Mavera, who is the Joina City Co-owner Representative, said the origins of the
magnificent building located in the cosmopolitan space of Harare’s CBD, can be traced way
back to the early 1990’s, when FMI Holdings then acquired the land Joina City stands now.
“Mutasa who was the Project Manager of the building had a friend who happened to be an
Architect, the late Vernon Mwamuka, and from various conversations, they had the idea to
erect the Joina City Building.

The design was created between 1996 and 1997 when the initial drawings were made and this
is also the period which birthed Joina Development Company which started property
development between 1995 and 1996. It was in this period that the modelling of the huge
structure began, putting appropriate financial resources in place,” said Mavera.
Mavera said the building back then only had a few investors that effectively participated in the
successful construction.

“Back then we had 6 investors, we had the Local Authority Pension Fund, National Railways
of Zimbabwe (NRZ) Contributory Pension Fund, P.T.C Pension Fund which is now
Communications and Allied Industry Pension Fund, Zimnat Life, FMI Holdings which was
Mutasa’s Private Company and the Prince of Saudi Arabia was also one of the investors in the
project. We had a ground-breaking ceremony and the initial building started in 1998,” he said.

The construction of the building commenced on the black Friday of November 1998 when the
local currency had been affected by inflation and the rate was 1:8 against the United States
dollar. The construction of the building was not exempted from problems such as failure to
import materials for construction, as the foreign currency during those days was scarce. These
challenges were taken as strengths because of the determination which guided the team.
The building was officially opened in March 2010, starting with the retail section, but later
opened office floors and tenants started to occupy offices in the building.

The building was constructed through Mutasa’s motivation to ensure that a legacy is left for
future generations to benefit in diverse ways from the massive construction.
The construction itself had a historical background as it was a consortium of investors that was
coming together for the first time to build Joina City, which showed commitment and the spirit
of togetherness.

The uniqueness in Joina City
Joina City is nestled at the focal point of the Central Business District of Harare and is also
right next to the main post office. This makes it a viable facility for anyone who wishes to rent
space as customers will be coming from different areas of Zimbabwe.
As a building with a welcoming and warm environment which is coupled with shops that are
there to satisfy each and every need of the customer, the Joina City mall attracts more than
950 000 people every month.

The Joina City is also the second tallest building in Harare after the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
and the largest indoor multi-use building in Zimbabwe. In this mall one can expect an enjoyable
shopping experience as there is a large, well- stocked supermarket, to those that wish to relax
there are 6 cinema houses with the first of its kind kids cinema. There is a fully functional
medical centre, a general practitioner, a clinical laboratory, gynaecologist, optician, a quality
gym and the National Blood Services donor clinic is also found in the building.

Tenants
The Joina City retail mall houses over 80 active tenants offering services, and retail stores. The
mall shopping area is spread on four levels, and offers many dining and take away facilities,
speciality shops offering unique products and experiences, state of the art entertainment
services, and much more in a clean, safe and secure environment. The Joina City boasts a wide
tenant mix which ensures that tenants do not duplicate services and merchandise meaning
everyone has an ample market to service. With hands on Property management overseeing and
maintaining the facilities, Joina City tenants are nurtured from sole traders to successful
business owners and respected entrepreneurs.

Customer Convenience
When one wants to shop, rent an office or have a meeting in the largest commercial building
in Zimbabwe, there is no need for cracking one’s head as Joina City Mall provides round the
clock security with spacious basement parking offering 600 spaces over three levels in the
basement.

The business centres housed on the 10th and 12th floor offer modern facilities for meetings,
short term leases, secretarial services and small events for businesses needing a professional
office space, as well as businesses which want to keep their over- head costs to a minimum.
The Joina Office Tower is on 16 levels of the building, and with panoramic views of the Harare
skyline, the office spaces are ideal operating premises for blue chip companies, as well as those
who work with other African and international organizations.

The security personnel are well equipped and trained to handle theft and misdemeanours. The
security staff are vigilant and supported by the building’s CCTV cameras, in excess of 120.
The analytical cameras have a 24 hour control centre which monitors the happenings in and
around Joina City.

Social Responsibility
As a way of giving back to the community, Joina City has been involved in many Corporate
Social Responsibility (CSR) works. It managed to take the National Blood Services from First
Street where it was originally located and gave them a 150 square metre office space in the
Joina City Mall.

The Mall has been sponsoring and promoting their awareness programs to such a level that today,

it is the biggest blood collection centre in Zimbabwe after their headquarters in Parirenyatwa.

Joina City Mall has donated greatly to the Cyclone Idai victims in Chimanimani, availing 1
200 bags of cement which were distributed by the Dominican Sisters in Zimbabwe to the
affected people.

In its strides to assist, Joina City Mall also approached the Harare City Council concerning the
Centenary Bridge which was no longer in good shape and wanted to resuscitate it to benefit the
people utilizing it. After maintaining the bridge which now helps more than 40 000 people
safely cross Julius Nyerere Avenue on a daily basis, the mall went on to construct pay toilets
under the bridge which has been instrumental in helping to improve sanitation in the area.

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