Mzembi blasts fake prophets
TOURISM and Hospitality Industry Minister, Walter Mzembi has blasted opposition activists for staging violent demonstrations in Harare last week saying their activities are affecting local tourism.
Addressing gospel music lovers at the Gospel Music Festival in Gwanda on Saturday at Phelandaba Stadium, Minister Mzembi said his ministry’s efforts to market the country were being plunged into the drain because of the violent protests.
“After a good day’s work, month or years as has been the case with tourism, people have chosen to reverse our work by their actions. Recent events and protests have hurt tourism and Zimbabwe badly.
“Tourism cannot package and sell conflict. We’ve succeeded to date in repositioning Brand Zimbabwe, largely because despite national differences, they’ve not translated into public conflict to the extent where it constitutes a security threat warranting travel advisories, which we successfully negotiated away in 2009. Anyone who seeks to govern one day, or form alternative government must invest in peace. We should all roundly reject violence of any shade as a means of expression of our Zimbabweaness!
“We fought for democracy to make the ballot box the theatre of change, not street fighting. So anyone who aspires to govern must invest in peace, dialogue and superior ideas. So let’s get off the streets, exercise mutual tolerance for our diverse positions and meet in conference rooms like the educated and enlightened people we are and design the Zimbabwe we want.”
According to the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) 2014 tourism overview report, tourism receipts recorded a marginal three percent decline from US$856 million to US$827 million.
Tourist arrivals increased by about 2.6 percent after vigorous marketing and proof the country was a safe international destination.
There were about 1,61 million tourist arrivals from African countries, 137 465 from Europe and 66 826 from America that year.
The country also recorded 42 798 and 26 031 tourist arrivals from Asia and Oceania respectively.
The minister said Zimbabweans needed to do away with fly-by-night prophets and stick to the Bible. “There’s nothing new on earth. Fellow citizens you now seem so dependent on prophets but the greatest prophesy is the Word itself – the Bible. But you people want to pay for prophesy, you want to hear it from man,” said Minister Mzembi.
“We’re in sixes and sevens today in Zimbabwe because of many of us who think they’re hearing from God, when in fact it’s the Devil calling! Use the right and legitimate exchange, Jesus Christ!”
“Bow down in prayer as the Bible supersedes all prophesy! Prophets come and go, the Word stays, even if its authors are gone, the Word stayed.”
The minister praised the people Gwanda for being peaceful.
“We’re not gathered here for a shutdown, but to praise and worship. I wish to congratulate you Jahundas for your embracement of peace in this town. Good things will come to you as long as there’s peace.
“The President said as much yesterday (last Friday) and I reinforce the same, this is not the time to shut down, but to rebuild the walls of Jericho, our Zimbabwe!”
Turning to those in the diaspora, many of whom have been accused of playing a role in the campaigning for the shutdown, Minister Mzembi said they needed to make a positive change back home.
“Zimbabweans are running the world because of their much sought after intellectual and hardworking culture. But eventually, they’ll have to come back home to a bed of thorns/roses or as has become the trend, back in a coffin, or never.”
He also commended South Africa-based Justice Maphosa, the organiser of the Gwanda gospel festival saying he would be celebrated in heaven for the harvesting of souls.
“Justice is preparing a bed of roses, not just for himself but for you, for all of us. Galas will come and go but some people have turned to God because of Justice. His humility and simplicity is what attracted me to him and I want to hail him for investing back home.”