zta.jpgThe tourism industry says Finance Minister, Tendai Biti’s withdrawal of statutory instruments that allowed players in the sector to import vehicles duty free and other consumables critical in the sector, in his Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement has dealt a heavy blow to the sector which was on a recovery path.

 

Addressing a media briefing in Harare, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Chief Executive, Mr. Karikoga Kaseke said the withdrawal of the statutory instruments which were formulated after lengthy negotiations with the then Finance Minister, Cde Samuel Mumbengengwi has dealt a major blow to the tourism industry, adding that Mr. Biti has shown policy inconsistency in this regard.

 

“We are deeply hurt by the move taken by Mr Biti without consulting us. We had many negotiations with the previous minister and we were using this facility to befit genuine players in the sector,” said Kaseke.

 

Zimbabwe Council for Tourism President, Mr. Emmanuel Fundira said the industry was dismayed by the announcement as it will hinder new players from actively participating in the tourism sector.

“We were really dismayed by what Minister Biti said because this will affect new players who had seen the statutory instruments as incentives to join the sector,” Fundira said.

 

In his Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement, Minister Biti scrapped Statutory Instruments number 46 and 60 which were gazzetted in 2009 to allow players in the tourism sector to import duty free vehicles and other goods for the refurbishment of tourism facilities.

According to players in the industry, the statutory instruments were scrapped by Minister Biti on allegations that the facility was being abused.

 

However tourism stakeholders professed their innocence claiming that they used to do rigorous and lengthy vetting before issuing out the duty free import certificates.