“We want to rebrand Zimbabwe" – Mutambara

HARARE – Zimbabwe is to embark on an ambitious re-branding campaign in a disparate bid to get rid of the current bad boy image. The South African nation that has been under a tight Robert Mugabe rule since 1980, has over the past decade gained notoriety for being a lawless state where mafia style abductions, kidnappings, beatings are common

Deputy Prime Minister Professor Mutambara said this image has to be done away with since it has only served to drive away international investors. He said: “We want to rebrand Zimbabwe, but what are we known for. How are we perceived by the rest of the world?"

Mutambara said Zimbabwe is "known for violence, farm invasions, disregard for the rule of law, electoral fraud, cholera, corruption and mafia style abductions and kidnappings of journalist, human rights activists and anyone seeking democratic space."

Mutambara said this initiative would be for 20 years. Sources within his office said Mutambara would table his plan to Cabinet soon. “We expect to run the programme from May right through the lifespan of the inclusive government,” said the source.

Though finer details are still being worked out, it would be different from that run by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority. ZTA has spent thousands of dollars flying in international artists such as Joe Thomas under the Perception Image Campaign that sought to lure back tourist.

Already the inclusive government has set up team to engage the United States and European Union countries to lift sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe. The team includes Tendai Biti, Welshman Ncube, Priscilla Misihairabwi Mushonga and Simbarashe Mumbengengwi.