Mzembi Reads Riot Act to Tourism Industry Leaders

HARARE – The Minister of Tourism, Walter Muzembi, has ordered tourism industry leaders to stop haggling or risk being fired, indicating that they are tarnishing the country's image.\r\n

"This has to stop immediately," Mzembi said. "I will deal with the ZTA guys and make sure that this comes to an end." He said if the industry leaders did not heed his warning, he would not hesitate to fire them all.

There have been open clashes between Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Karikoga Kaseke and Chairman of the African Sun Limited group (ASL), Shingi Munyeza.

Zimbabwe Council for Tourism (ZCT) boss, Emmanuel Fundira and Kaseke, have also publicly clashed. Fundira took over from Chipo Mutasa of the Rainbow Tourism group (RTG) last year. Kaseke alleges that Fundira has a criminal record as he was convicted for externalisation of funds.

Fundira in his defence, maintains his criminal record is in the past and that he can still serve the ZCT. The ZCT reports directly to the ZTA.

Munyeza and Kaseke also do not get along well, with Munyeza accusing Kaseke of being too ZANU PF, while Kaseke accuses Munyeza of being an opposition party activist.

Mzembi also said the country needs to form a Zimbabwe International Marketing Company (ZIMC) immediately, which will market the 2010 World Cup activities.

"We need to move fast because we are being left behind," he said. "We need to market Zimbabwe and also benefit from this important world showcase."

Muzembi said the 2010 World Cup to be held in South Africa could help boost local coffers, as tourists would spend money in Zimbabwe.

He said he would air his idea in Cabinet on Tuesday.