Govt slams US,UK travel warn­ings

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Aux­ilia Ka­ton­go­mara Chron­i­cle Re­porter

THE Gov­ern­ment has slammed the Bri­tish and United States em­bassies for is­su­ing travel warn­ings on Zim­babwe fol­low­ing re­cent protests.

Tourism and Hos­pi­tal­ity Min­is­ter Dr Wal­ter Mzembi said the is­suance of the travel warn­ings will af­fect the tourism in­dus­try which re­mains the only per­form­ing pil­lar of the econ­omy.

“Fol­low­ing protests on the streets of Harare, and cam­paigns by the #this Flag move­ment, the United States of Amer­ica is­sued travel warn­ings on Zim­babwe si­mul­ta­ne­ously in­voked to­gether with the UK.

“Ba­si­cally they ad­vise against travel to Zim­babwe, hurt­ing in the process the only per­form­ing pil­lar in the Zim­babwe econ­omy which re­ceipted in ex­cess of $600 mil­lion half year up to June, and ex­pected to do more than this fig­ure in the sec­ond half,” wrote Dr Mzembi on his Face­book page on Thurs­day.

“Apart from want­ing to fore­close the Zim­babwe econ­omy as part of want­ing to “shut down Zim­babwe” which has been the clarion call of the protest move­ment, I can’t help but con­clude that the two coun­tries are suck­ing them­selves into in­ter­nal dis­putes and ex­ac­er­bat­ing the sit­u­a­tion by this in­or­di­nate re­sponse which sinks ad­di­tional mil­lions of in­no­cent Zim­bab­wean civil­ians into ab­ject poverty.”

Dr Mzembi said Ar­ti­cle 6 of the Global Code of Ethics res­trains coun­tries from uni­lat­eral ac­tion on coun­tries with­out en­gag­ing them.

He said Zim­babwe has a 33-year tourism safety and se­cu­rity record and there are no ex­plo­sions on its streets or bomb­ings to war­rant the US and UK ac­tion.

“I am in the USA watch­ing Fox News Agency, and the Amer­ica you will never see and po­lice bru­tal­ity on protesters which will make the ZRP be­hav­iour of the last three months and by the way I don’t sub­scribe to it, look like they are our peace­ful mu­nic­i­pal po­lice force,” Dr Mzembi said.

“The les­son is when cit­i­zens de­clare war on po­lice, it in­vites bru­tal­ity un­til the politi­cians come in to talk peo­ple off the streets and into di­a­logue.”

The Min­is­ter said Zim­babwe like many African coun­tries was a vic­tim of bul­ly­ing from the West.

He said as an African can­di­date for the United Na­tions World Tourism Or­gan­i­sa­tion Sec­re­tary Gen­eral post, he was hop­ing to re­dress the anom­aly.

“I haven’t heard a sin­gle Amer­i­can invit­ing sanc­tions on their coun­try in the wake of these scuf­fles. They un­der­stand Na­tional In­ter­est, pe­riod!” said Dr Mzembi adding that all pa­tri­otic cit­i­zens must im­plore the USA and UK to re­move the il­le­gal travel warn­ings.

On Septem­ber 6, the Bri­tish Em­bassy, in a travel warn­ing to its na­tion­als, said:

“There have been demon­stra­tions in towns and cities in re­cent months, some of which have been vi­o­lent. You should avoid ar­eas where demon­stra­tions may be held, or where there are large gath­er­ings of peo­ple. If a demon­stra­tion or dis­tur­bance is tak­ing place, leave quickly and don’t at­tempt to watch or pho­to­graph it. Mon­i­tor this travel ad­vice and lo­cal me­dia (in­clud­ing ra­dio and so­cial me­dia) for up­dates.” — @Aux­il­iaK

Dr Wal­ter Mzembi

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