Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Walter Mzembi is set to take on his Home Affairs counterpart, Ignatius Chombo, in Cabinet on the issue of police’s heavy presence on the country’s roads, which he says is deterring tourists from visiting the country.
A boisterous Mzembi yesterday promised that the issue would be dealt with. “The concern is about excessive presence of police,” he said. “I am back. The boy is back in town. The issue will be dealt with.”
A visitor exit survey (VES) done by the Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency (Zimstat), released in February this year, said harassment by the police constituted the highest percentage of reasons why leaving tourists would not recommend the country to potential visitors at 43,2%.
This was followed by harassment by Zimbabwe Revenue Authority officers at 14,7% and harassment by Immigration was at 8,7%.
“We will mainstream it through the Cabinet. Whatever what the survey (VES) is talking about must not be seen as an affront,” Mzembi said.
VES surveyed 38 680 foreign tourists over a 12-month period between 2015 and November 2016.
In a brief interview after the election, Dr Mzembi conceded defeat and said he was prepared to work with Mr Pololikashvilli.
“It was a narrow loss,” he said. “But it is the brand Zimbabwe and brand Africa that proved that it is seeking a bigger stake in the world.
“The election loss should not be seen as the end of everything. The bigger picture is our brand that we have upped through the campaign. Zimbabwe and Africa have never been this high in the matrix of world tourism and you can see the interest it has attracted. There has never been such interest on UNWTO elections.
Walter Mzembi , Zimbabwe’s Hospitality Industry Minister who was the Africa Union representative in the UNWTO elections for the post of Secretary General post in Madrid, Spain has lost to the Georgia candidate.
Mzembi had looked like he would comfortably win the election after an impressive first round of votes in which he had won the most votes of 33 by scoring 11 with his Georgia counterpart on 8.
However in the second round he came second when the Georgian got more support to score 18 votes to 15 for the Zimbabwean minister.
Second round results:
First round results:
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