For a fast developing urban settlement buoyed by agrarian progress in cotton production, Saturday’s official opening of the rebranded Gokwe Hotel has come as good news to party animals and revellers from the small Midlands mining town.

Last weekend, multitudes of merrymakers in Gokwe thronged the formerly defunct hotel which was previously owned by outspoken cleric Nehemiah Mutendi of the Zion Christian Church.

The facility is now under the control and management of the Join Africa Business Network (JABN).

An action-filled Saturday was latter spiced up with a top drawer performance from controversial Zimdancehall crooner Jah Master, who left scores of music lovers asking for more.

The Hello Mwari singer was ably supported by various up-and-coming chanters drawn from mainly the Mapfungautsi neighborhood while award-winning wheel-spinner, DJ Fydale did justice to the expectant revellers with an equally scintillating performance.

On the other hand, promising MC Vasco and the veteran MC Shaddy the Mighty proved that they were comparably not miles away to the highly fancied Judgement Yard Family when it comes to lyrical prowess.

Speaking to this reporter on the sidelines of the official opening ceremony held in Gokwe over the weekend, a number of locals said the latest development comes as a plus for not only the hospitality industry, but the showbiz sector as well.

“This hotel was the missing link and the void that its state of dysfunctionality had rendered to this community was so devastating. You can just wonder how it felt for such a vast urban settlement that Gokwe has grown to become, to live without a single hotel,” said John Shoko, a local resident.

“I think the rejuvenation of this hotel will certainly go a long way in assisting parents and guardians with children enrolled at the nearby Cheziya Gokwe High School- some of them visit their children from as far as Harare and Gokwe Hotel, with its affordable accommodation prices which are quite affordable,” another resident Kudakwashe Makara quipped.

In an interview with Zwnews, JABN Director Madron Matiza said they decided to assume control of the facility upon realising the rapid growth of the town.

“It is of no doubt that Gokwe, significantly contributes towards the economic well-being of the country and the rapid urbanisation of the area is obviously one motivating factor for investment in the area,” Matiza told this publication.

He also said the re-establishment of Gokwe Hotel will go a long way in getting rid of the current misconceptions about Gokwe as a geographical settlement.

“How many times have you come across social media jabs directed at Gokwe as some backward settlement? There are people who even think that people from this part of the country are so ignorant and backward to an extent that they are not even in touch with current events. But this is far from the truth- there is more to Gokwe than what most people think it is,” he said.