‘Apartheid South Africa kept Rhodesia alive’

via ‘Apartheid South Africa kept Rhodesia alive’ – DailyNews Live 27 July 2014 by Maxwell Sibanda

HARARE – Apartheid South Africa and Rhodesia had a closer tourism relationship between its white citizens compared to independent  South Africa and Zimbabwe today, a Cabinet minister has sensationally revealed.

Tourism and Hospitality minister Walter Mzembi told a gathering in Harare this week during the launch of the country’s Tourism Policy that even in the thick of the war, tourists would be escorted to Rhodesia and Lourenco Marques now Maputo, for a holiday.

“We need to speak politically to these markets beyond the initiative of industry and our tourism authorities.

“We need to interrogate why at least 30 percent of South Africa’s bona fide 9,9 million international tourists do not visit what used to be the 10th Tourism Province,” said Mzembi.

The Tourism minister wondered whether it was the lack of a tourist visa, that eliminates the need for an unnecessary transit visa, poor product offerings and their pricing or brand perceptional issues that we need to address to tap into this obvious opportunity.

“We are going to need political engagement beyond the diplomatic niceties captured in our routine MOUs between us.

“There was clearly a deliberate political effort and affirmative policy to keep Rhodesia alive during its biting sanctions, and Beitbridge Border Post was designed then to be responsive to this market,” said Mzembi.

The Tourism minister said even the road blocks/check points were friendly to that traffic for the intended purpose. “Is it the case today as history repeats itself with Zimbabwe under sanctions?

“My appeal dear Patron (Vice President Joice Mujuru), is that let us upgrade our dialogue to this level not just with the Republic of South Africa but with China as well.”

Mzembi said the paltry 3 800 – 5 500 visitors to Zimbabwe in 2013 compared to the regional average of 80 000 to 150 000 should be a wakeup call.

He accused Zimbabweans of fighting daily perception issues that are either sponsored by us, through political rhetoric or self-hate speech through social media by the diaspora, and our national daily papers that are informing opinion on Brand Zimbabwe.  “A monthly balance sheet of editorial spin by our papers speaks to a destination in conflict, yet we are one of the most peaceful country on Earth.”

Mzembi urged Zimbabweans to embrace Religious Tourism which he said today moves some 300 million international tourists out of the world’s total 1,1 billion travellers.

The Tourism minister said the church market in Zimbabwe was growing exponentially to the extent that in certain instances its congregants cannot meet under one roof adding that in other countries it has built high tech stadia and arenas as meeting places.

“I encourage the church to grow their vision too in this direction and start building World Cup 2034 Stadia for us, to facilitate our qualification when the time of bidding comes.”

He said our modern day temples and their associated visions have inspired tourism and hospitality-defined businesses in the form of conferencing facilities, transport SBUs, TV stations, accommodation and restaurant and cuisine entities licensed by his ministry.

“In reciprocation and in line with my vision, to grow church or faith-based or inspired business, I have extended the provisions of Statutory Instruments 172 and 173 dealing with duty free capital goods and Motor Vehicle Importations to the church sector.”

As for the church, Mzembi said figures at domestic level are believed to be over two billion of the world’s 4,5 to 5 billion domestic travellers.

“It is this global phenomenon that compels me today to invite the Celebration Centre to join the Zion Christian Church Mbungo in Masvingo as the 2nd such designation of a Religious Tourism facility that I am empowered to do through the Tourism Act.

“Government honours Celebration Centre Ministries today for their creativity, their dream, particularly its size, and for those of you who have seen Zion Christian Church, Mbungo in Masvingo you will understand why Celebration Centre qualifies for this honour.”

In reference to President Mugabe’s assertion that the “economy was recovering” the Tourism minister said it seemed anyone who signposts recovery of Zimbabwe’s economy today whether in whole or in part has been dismissed with gross disdain as either disconnected to the suffering of the people or as a dreamer.

“It seems our population is content with pessimism and would rather dig further inside the hole dug for us by our detractors.

“If it is an opportunity beckoning they would rather pass it to a neighbour state than seize it themselves.”

Mzembi added that this disposition is characteristic of a people whose defences have been shattered or are in ruins, and “I intend immediately to address how we can rebuild the walls, and start believing again that yes, we can, and are and will overcome hardship and crossover to prosperity.”

He said the biblical Egypt in our mind must give way to Canaan, and mental barriers of servitude and self-pity must give way to self-belief and a conquering spirit.

“A goat tied to a tree, even when freed has difficulty in grazing outside the circumference to which it was bound in bondage.  It is this that we must deal with,” said Mzembi.

The Tourism minister said if we set our minds on rebuilding, on recovery, we must do so unabated.  “Everything becomes a dream until implementation commences.  Policy launches are dreams, and will remain dreams until we start doing something, acting or implementing, and herein lies the biggest mischief in our midst today — implementation or the lack of it. I have a dream!”

Mzembi’s dream is a $5 billion Tourism Economy in Zimbabwe by 2020, in line with Vision 2020 and implemented within the context of ZimAsset.

“This dream is as big as the current size of our total annual country budget of $4,4 billion as presented by the minister of Finance on December 20, 2013.

“If you want to live longer you must dream bigger than your current size, so God can give you a longer life to see your dreams through.

“I have many “over my dead body” friends who never lived to see their dreams because they spoke the impossible, curses and despair.”


  • comment-avatar

    Rhodesia was kept alive by the economic policies of the then Government. They opted to be the seller rather than the buyer. They manufactured products of high quality which found their way to even countries like Zambia. The trains ran through out the war and never wavered. The Zimbabwean Government inherited this set up but failed to keep it in operation. Their first mistake was to de industrialize Bulawayo which was named at the time The Gateway to Central Africa. This was like shooting oneself in the foot. Then they started appointing party cadres into the Parastatels. Big mistake. Where he doe speak the truth is that unlike the White South African Government of the time that treated Rhodesia as an equal partner, the back South African Government of now treats Zimbabwe like the poor cousin and benefit out of Zimbabwe’s woes. Yes ESAP played a role in Zimbabwe’s demise but only because it was not implemented properly by what we now know to be the most inefficient and corrupt Government Southern Africa has ever seen. There are no more excuses. The stories are now stale.

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    Riman 7 years ago

    Why would South Africans with the world as a choice come to a dying economy, with potholes on the roads, corrupt police seeking a bribe at every turn, when they could save themselves the headache and go to Botswana, Namibia or Mauritius?

    These are choices in the immediate vicinity, never mind the rest of the world. That shows that Zimbabwe is competing with these countries, and it must have a persuasive case or product or they won’t come.

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    Clive Sutherland 7 years ago

    Mzembi, stop blaming non existant sanctions, this Zanupf government dug the hole that Zimbabwe is in due to the corrupt,thieving policies it has adopted. Rhodesia had 100% comprehensive sanctions against it for 15 years as well as a war, yet it still managed to maintain and develop the countries infrastructure, roads, hospitals, power grid, rural clinics, rail service, National Airline, disciplined security forces etc. etc, where do you want me to stop. I has been said before, Zanupf inherited the jewel of Africa, all they had to do was maintain it – instead they have destroyed it!

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    Wethu 7 years ago

    If I heard that there’s a 90 year old white president who encourages his supporters to strike fear in a black man’s heart, who says blacks should never own land in his country, I would never visit that country. Got that Mzembi? Reverse the colors.

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    Mlimo 7 years ago

    zanupf just dont get it do they? Provide world class services and people will want to visit. But hey zimbabwe just won an award so why complain? When your president speaks hate against the very people who spend the money you got it wrong. Just admit it Rhodesian was a well managed jewel in Africa destroyed by zanupf.

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    Mseyamwa 7 years ago

    Who would come to a country where the president has a known, famous hatred of people who are different. The rhetoric against whites reflects that the government is intolerant of other humans and there is no guarantee of protection which you rightly say was guaranteed to the Rhodesian tourists. People would feel a bit safer knowing their existence has the support of the president and the government apparatus. But, alas, not in Zimbabwe – the president is at the forefront of threatening the people they wish to quote. Many black people non-white people whom you think might feel the threats are not against them do not wish to associate with a blatantly racist country and they will not come even though they have never been directly mentioned in the rhetoric. Stop with your evil graveside speeches – do you bury satanists at the heroes’ acres to warranty such phlegm all the time you are there?
    The expropriation of other people’s property is another case in point. Tourists view coming to Zimbabwe as transacting with thieves as the people now offering some of the services forcefully took the businesses from their rightful owners. People have a tendency to distance themselves from unethical business players – you may ask Nike about this. They experienced a fall from grace over allegations of unethical employment practices in their Asian sweatshops.
    The other thing is that when the government embarks on these unfortunate policies they fail to remember that whatever is in Zimbabwe can be offered by other countries which are keeping their record clean. Even the Victoria Falls can be visited from the Zambian side without major loss.
    Stop throwing sticks at other people and look within. Your penchant for throwing blame is what is going to keep us in a whole for a very long time as it will stall you from doing what is necessary for revival – which is to start cleaning house.

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    Mzmbe you talk like a fool. Resign from that post don’t be tied to a game of thieves. Can you tell me anything that ZANU PF has build in Zim.

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    William Doctor 7 years ago

    Breaking news: The new South Africa keeps the Mugabe regime alive

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    Mandevu 7 years ago

    Tourism is a simple game of product (supply) and markets (demand). Tourists let their $’s do the talking. If they dont like a place or if they are worried about a place and its safety, they simply wont go there. No one has the “rights” to tourists as you seem to be suggesting in yuor article

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    Straight Shooter 7 years ago

    How I miss Rhodesia. Lord Almighty; help us Lord to bring down this evil stanist state of Gukurahundi Zimbambagwee!!!

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    DubboZimbo 7 years ago

    Get the ZANU spin doctors to rebrand the tourism sector, catchy themes like “visit Zimbabwe to see the Rhodesian ruins”