Walter Mzembi, calls immediate re-engagement of international media

HARARE – The Minister of Tourism and Hospitality, Walter Mzembi, has called for the immediate re-engagement of international media through the liberalisation of air waves and accreditation of foreign media players in line with the Global political Agreement.

Mzembi, who was addressing business people and ambassadors in Harare, said there was need by the inclusive government to engage the international media.

“For my ministry to deliver, we need to re-engage the international media. Let us accredit CNN, BBC and many other foreign, newspapers, radio and television stations because if we do not accredit them they will continue beaming and broadcasting from outside the country and we can never hold them accountable for negative publicity,” said Mzembi.

Mzembi also admitted that the state broadcaster ZBC has lost credibility and has no capacity to lure tourists into the country, as its audience is mostly poor Zimbabweans who do not have disposable incomes to visit local tourist resorts.

“Who watches ZBC? No one because our target market subscribes to DSTV and other satellite stations hence the need to accredit foreign media that have the capacity to selling the country,” said Mzembi.

Meanwhile Deputy Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara blamed the inclusive government for being silent on the outstanding issues such as the appointment of the Reserve Bank Governor, Attorney General, permanent secretaries, Ambassadors and provincial governors.

He indicated that the delays were likely to affect the country’s re-engagement by the international community.

Professor Mutambara told business leaders and African ambassadors that the inclusive government is to blame for ignoring such issues, which are part of the Global Political Agreement.

“As long as outstanding issues such as the appointment of Reserve Bank Governor, Attorney general Johannes Tomana, Provincial governors, Permanent Secretaries and Ambassadors remain unsolved, we are jeopardizing our relationship with the international community who are showing support to our inclusive government,” said Mutambara.

On March 20 in DC Washington, representatives from Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, the European Commission, the European Union Council Secretariat, the World Bank, African Development Bank, International Monetary Fund, and United Nations met and discussed best ways of  supporting the people of Zimbabwe as they work to bring peace, stability, prosperity and democracy back to their country.

The international community agreed to work with the transition government to achieve specific goals identified in the Global Political Agreement (GPA), and called for the establishment of a credible and transparent Central Bank team, the restoration of the rule of law, economic stabilization and growth, freedom of assembly and commitment to the democratic process, respect for human rights and personal security and full access to humanitarian assistance and the creation of a vibrant media.