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THE tourism sector is reportedly suffering huge losses owing to overzealous manner at which some Zimbabwe Republic Police officers are manning roadblocks along the countries roads, abusing both motorists and the law.

Ross Kennedy, chief executive of Africa Albida Tourism and the former chairman of the African Travel and Tourism Association, said the country was now becoming difficult to sell as a self-drive destination and countries such as Germany were now shunning Zimbabwe as a safe destination.

Kennedy said the roadblock situation had become worse despite assurances by the Tourism ministry that things would get better. Kennedy said he was encouraged by Press reports that Tourism minister Walter Mzembi was engaging the Home Affairs ministry to ensure that the situation on the country’s roads was improved.

This only reflects the cost of doing business in Zimbabwe, which is being pushed upwards by three main drivers — poor laws, corruption and congested road blocks — which has turned the life of road users into a nightmare and owning a vehicle into a crime. Not only are tourists being affected, but locals as well, including tobacco farmer Evan Nyakuchera, who said the cost of transporting his 20 bales of tobacco from Karoi to Harare went up by nearly 50% owing to “problematic” roadblocks along the way.

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