ZIMBABWE National Chamber of Commerce president Luxon Zembe says most of the country’s embassies are not serving any useful economic purpose and should be shaken up or closed down immediately
In an interview Zembe said embassies were merely doing public relations and political tasks instead of concentrating on trying to bring business to help shore up the country’s ailing economy.
Zimbabwe has close to 33 embassies scattered around the world.
“Our embassies seem to serve mainly public relations and political functions which is not their core purpose,” Zembe said. “Embassies justify their presence and should bring economic benefits to the country. If they fail to do so then they are a waste of time.”
Zembe castigated the country’s current marketing strategy, saying the state had failed to devise anything comprehensive.
He said the current strategies employed had failed to bear fruit and at the same time were done in a disorderly manner.
“As a country our current strategy to marketing the country is disorganised to the extent that government has neglected engaging the business community when designing a national strategy for marketing,” Zembe said.
He said government’s individualistic tendency saw it organising a delegation to the past Comesa summit and the business community was left with the task of organising its own.
He said such tendencies were not beneficial to the country’s development and called for a uniform approach to encourage investments.
He said his organisation was worried about the resources being used by the various delegations that had gone out to market the country but failed to bring back results.
“We need, as a country, to be accountable to the resources that have been ploughed into the various missions and as a country take an audit of where we have gone wrong,” said Zembe.
He said some members who took part in some of the missions were becoming a liability to the country because they use up funds but fail to justify their involvement in the huge delegations.