|Zimbabwe's Tourism and Hospitality Minister Engineer Walter Mzembi launches his Ministry's new marketing strategy "Zimbabwe: A World of Wonders" at Zimbabwe House on Wednesday at the Zimbabwe Embassy in London.|
Launching the country’s rebranding strategy “Zimbabwe: A World of Wonders” at Zimbabwe House in London on Wednesday, Mzembi said the danger of the international community turning its back on any country “is that you push people to design rules of engagement that have no reference to international best practice.”
Earlier in the day, Mzembi had attended a discussion forum at an influential international affairs thinktank alongside the
“Both gentlemen gave positive reviews on the state of affairs in
The positive reviews by the British government mark a thaw in relations between the usually antagonistic countries, and Mzembi was quick to acknowledge this as a sign that the British were now ready to engage constructively with their Zimbabwean counterparts.
“They want engagement, there’s no doubt about it. They want to be less critical of Zanu PF and President Mugabe because they cannot endear themselves to (Prime Minister Morgan) Tsvangirai only who is subordinate in the current arrangement to a President in a coalition government,” Mzembi told Newzimbabwe.com in an exclusive interview at Zimbabwe House.
Zimbabwean pop duo BKay 'n' Kazz perform at the launch ceremony.
The Zanu PF Young Turk inferred that there was now a new thinking in
“It is not just me who noticed a difference; even the Chinese government noticed a difference in Prime Minister David Cameron’s approach, which is more constructive, very refreshing and contemporary. I have no doubt in my mind that they find a generational connection with some of us and we must leverage that to advance our own interests,” he added.
Mzembi underscored the significance of British tourism to
“British tourism is important as a signal to other traffic in the world and in Europe – if the British come to
But nothing illustrates these ties more than the presence of the Zimbabwean Diaspora which is composed mainly of skilled professionals currently serving variously in the British system,” he said.
Violence and human rights abuses against perceived opposition supporters in general elections since 2000 also stoked British resentment against the Zanu PF government, leading to the imposition of targeted sanctions by the European Union (EU) against members of President Mugabe’s regime as well as several state-owned companies.
Mzembi addressed the EU sanctions saying their removal would help even the playing field between the political players in
“We have a responsibility to package our own elections in a manner that does not impinge on the national programmes that are currently running. But if we want to play to the international gallery it will obviously take centre stage, unnecessarily so,” he said.
However, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party is incensed by Zanu PF’s refusal to honour the powersharing agreement signed between them to establish the current inclusive government. Last month he wrote to the UN and to European governments to complain of a constitutional crisis in
Of late, media reports in
Mzembi denied that the military threatened the integrity of the electoral process by playing an overtly partisan role in support of Zanu PF, defending their role in national politics as legitimate.
“I don’t find anything unique in the military also advancing their own interests in securing national security. They are an intrinsic part of Zanu PF because they’re ex-liberation fighters and a lot of them actually had commissariat roles during the war. So why should they turn their backs on the party when they’re an intrinsic part of it?” he queried.
After nearly two years of powersharing, the MDC and Zanu PF look set to part ways after Mugabe and Tsvangirai both expressed readiness to hold fresh elections next year and revert governance of the country to a single democratically elected party. A constitutional reform exercise billed as a precursor to fresh elections ran into controversy amidst allegations of violence after the political parties jostled to control its outcome during the public outreach phase. Lately, Tsvangirai has suggested a negotiated draft constitution saying the current process is now marred by illegitimacy.
Zimbabwean tourism players exhibiting at the World Travel Market in