I AM flattered Jonathan Moyo knows of my existence, not a status I managed to achieve when he was my minister.
His article â€œShow real leadership not wasteful retreats (Zimbabwe Independent April 3 to 9)â€ alludes darkly to â€œwell fundedâ€¦eyebrow raising summitsâ€ and demands to know who is funding these all-stakeholder interfaces with the various ministries. The answer is on page two of the same paper: Friederich Ebert Stiftung.
They were not â€œwell fundedâ€ as the article purports. Bulawayo Holiday Inn and Rainbow Towers cut their conference packages to the bone to facilitate what they saw as an important initiative in inclusive democratic government â€“â€“ and also prestigious events.Â
Theirs were the lowest quotations I found: I checked with church halls, the university, Exhibition Park and the Belvedere Teachers Training College.
The standard of service in both hotels was magnificent. We have a great future in tourism if the universal summit demands:
- Â Return to the rule of law
- Â Return to fiscal probity
- Â Recognition of human and property rights
- Â Freeing political prisoners,
- Â Independent media
- Â End of corruption
- Â Fair elections
These, the German ambassador pointed out, are exactly the steps that will free up development aid in addition to the US$300 million humanitarian aid that has been given to Zimbabwe so far this year.
We refunded transport at ZCTU rates and paid no per diems, much to the anger of some delegates. There were no â€œministerial dinnersâ€ no alcohol, no perks. The ambassadorâ€™s meticulous accountant recorded every cent spent.
The warmth and positive response by the stakeholders to this government initiative made me proud to be Zimbabwean. I just wish I could persuade the media to carry stories on how the GNU is getting Zimbabwe working again