mzembi 01.09.10.jpgA cabinet minister has condemned the European Union (EU) for extending its illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe as this has a bearing on the tourism and hospitality industry.

The EU met in Brussels Belgium last week where it extended its embargo on Zimbabwe by yet another a year.

In response, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister, Cde Walter mzembi said the extension is uncalled for and is hurting the ordinary people instead of the few targeted.

Cde Mzembi however said the industry will employ ways of busting the embargo through the creation of strategies which include synergies.

“While the industry has survived under the illegal sanction in the past, a number of strategies to market the country’s tourism sector will be needed and the country will be engaging organisations such as the Regional Tourism Organisation of Southern Africa (RETOSA) and United Nations Worls Trade Organisations (UNWTO) to lobby for the removal of sanctions,” he said.

While Cde mzembi called on Zimbabweans to speak with one voice on the issues to do with sanctions, he lamented failure by the Finance Ministry to allocate enough funds to the Tourism and Hospitality Ministry and its agents such as the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) to vigorously market the country.

“Compared to South Africa’s tourism department which receives US$95 million from the fiscus, ZTA was given a mere US$400 000, enough to cover expenses for them to attend one tourism exhibition.

Tourism and hospitality sectors like many others have been directly affected by the illegal sanctions imposed by the US and the EU, leading to lack of foreign direct investment and lines of credit for use in refurbishment and expansion.