UNWTO assesses readiness

 

ZIMBABWE would be hard-pressed to show the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) that preparations for the August 2013 General Assembly in Victoria Falls are on track when the organisation’s executive council jets into the resort town to inspect the venue on Wednesday.By Our Staff Writer

The world’s premier tourism event would be co-hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia with the main ceremonies on the Zimbabwean side of the resort. The meeting on Wednesday would be the first between Tourism and Hospitality minister Walter Mzembi and UNWTO officials since adverse remarks by the ministry’s former permanent secretary Sylvester Maunganidze about Zimbabwe’s lies on its readiness to host the general assembly ignited a feud within the department.

 
Maunganidze told parliament Zimbabwe lied to the UNWTO during the bidding process and complained that he was embarrassed at having to mislead the UN body. He was subsequently removed from his position with Mzembi accusing him of commenting on the bid without authorisation.

 
Mzembi is already in Victoria Falls enroute to Zambia where the inspection team is expected to land on Monday.

 
Zimbabwe has secured a US$150 million loan from the China Import-Export Bank, which was ratified by parliament earlier this month, clearing the way for the start of the upgrading of Victoria Falls International Airport.