Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle -

TOURISM and Hos­pi­tal­ity In­dus­try Min­is­ter Dr Wal­ter Mzembi says he is ready to quit his Gov­ern­ment post for the pres­ti­gious United Na­tions World Tourism Or­gan­i­sa­tion (UNWTO) sec­re­tary gen­eral po­si­tion.

The African Union re­cently en­dorsed Min­is­ter Mzembi to run as Africa’s can­di­date for the post of UNWTO sec­re­tary gen­eral.

Min­is­ter Mzembi, who an­nounced his can­di­da­ture for the post in April this year, al­ready had the back­ing of the Sadc re­gional bloc.

The post, which is cur­rently held by Jor­da­nian Dr Taleb Ri­fai, falls va­cant next year with elec­tions sched­uled for May 2017.

Min­is­ter Mzembi said by show­ing in­ten­tion to con­test for the UNWTO post, he had also sig­nalled his readi­ness to quit Gov­ern­ment work.

“The po­si­tion is full time; any­one who suc­ceeds in May 2017 will have to re­lo­cate to Madrid, (Spain) — the head­quar­ters of the UNWTO.

“So what it means is that I have sig­nalled an in­ten­tion to quit Gov­ern­ment and as­sume de­ploy­ment in the in­ter­na­tional sys­tems — ar­guably be­com­ing the first min­is­ter in that re­spect to ac­tu­ally re­quest a con­sid­er­a­tion, a dif­fer­ent and ar­guably a higher of­fice in this in­stance when you are still a serv­ing Cabi­net min­is­ter,” he said.

The min­is­ter also ex­pressed con­fi­dence that he has the right qual­i­ties for the post given his ex­pe­ri­ence as Zim­babwe’s Tourism Min­is­ter.

“I bring with me a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence. I am the long­est serv­ing African Tourism Min­is­ter in the con­ti­nent and ar­guably the third long­est serv­ing on the globe af­ter our good min­is­ter for Azer­bai­jan and Cuba. “I also bring lots of craft com­pe­tence to the job; hav­ing ac­quit­ted my­self af­ter my de­ploy­ment as Zim­babwe’s Tourism Min­is­ter to ac­tu­ally cre­at­ing a min­istry from scratch be­cause it was never there,” said Min­is­ter Mzembi. He is cur­rently the chair­man of the UNWTO Re­gional Com­mis­sion for Africa and has also served as a mem­ber of the UNWTO Ex­ec­u­tive Coun­cil from 2009 to 2013. He also over­saw the suc­cess­ful bid­ding and co-host­ing of the 20th UNWTO Gen­eral Assem­bly by Zim­babwe and Zam­bia in 2013. The UNWTO was es­tab­lished as a spe­cialised agency of the United Na­tions in 1974 and has a mem­ber­ship of 157 coun­tries, six as­so­ciate mem­bers and over 480 af­fil­i­ate mem­bers rep­re­sent­ing the pri­vate sec­tor and other stake­hold­ers. Zim­babwe joined the or­gan­i­sa­tion in 1982. — New Ziana

Il­le­gal gold min­ers walk past re­cov­ered gold ore at Dur­ban Mine in Bubi Dis­trict re­cently. The ex­tend­ing of claims to il­le­gal min­ers has meant less dis­rup­tion of op­er­a­tions and a re­duc­tion in cor­rupt ac­tiv­i­ties which could have scared away in­vestors. Pic­ture by Eliah Saushoma

Dr Wal­ter Mzembi

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