The long-awaited wait for the re-opening of KFC Zimbabwe has finally become a reality and those with deep pockets have already been flocking to the US fast-food retail giant retail for the greasy nourishment.
They said this earlier on Sunday: "Good day Kfc family we are live and its happening right now thank you for being patient with us."
The locals had waited for a year and half for the place, located at Sam Nujoma Extension shopping centre in Belgravia and now they have been opened.
And the masses are excited. Pictures have been posted on the KFC Zimbabwe Facebook page showing people walking out with products.
KFC, an international fast food franchise with a presence in more than 80 countries, has returned to Zimbabwe with the opening of an outlet after two local businessmen acquired the area monopoly, sources familiar with the developments said.
The outlet will be the first of 10 planned to open by the end of 2014 and comes after the franchise holders settled a row over chicken imports with local authorities, the sources said.
Initially the franchise wanted to bring chickens from South Africa, but this was in violation of local statutes which ban such imports, delaying the opening by one year. However, chicken producer Irvines Zimbabwe will now supply the chickens.
"The holdup was because of country policies. We had to make sure that everything is above board, but now we will be using local chickens," the officials told The Source on Monday, requesting anonymity as they are not authorised to speak to the media.
KFC closed shop in Zimbabwe seven years ago after the previous franchise holder failed to maintain the international standards demanded by the American-owned brand.
Kelvin James, a Zimbabwean-based in South Africa, teamed up with Takura Investments to acquire the franchise for the local market. James already owns and operates several KFC fast food outlets in South Africa, but Takura holds 51 percent shareholding in the local venture.
The two have invested $1.5 million in the venture, with a long-term plan to open 25 outlets in the next five years, sources said.
"Next year alone if all goes well we will open 10 outlets in Harare alone depending on how many sites we get. After that, we will expand to the outskirts," the officials said.
Kevin James is the owner of Consolidated Farming Investments and a leading investor in the fast food sector in Zimbabwe. He is also the CE of Country Bird Holdings, the third biggest chicken supplier in South Africa.
The KFC franchise is operating under Zuva Petroleum, which is owned by local businessman Shingi Mutasa and is located at a service station.
KFC is likely to challenge the dominance of Innscor Africa group’s franchise, Chicken Inn and a rival indigenous outfit called Chicken Slice. However, the Zimbabwean KFC outlet is yet to offer a menu with the same products as its counterpart in South Africa.