Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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More trouble for UNWTO general assembly

More trouble for UNWTO general assembly

Tuesday, 28 August 2012 14:53

HARARE – Zimbabwe will not be able to translocate animals to the Victoria 
Falls National Park putting another damper on the country’s successful 
hosting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general 
assembly conference next year.

Dogged by lack of funds to drive anticipated capital projects and reports of 
cheating during the bidding process, the tourism extravaganza’s credibility 
now lies in doubt.

National Parks (Natparks) and Wildlife Authority director Vitalis Chadenga 
told businessdaily in an interview there will be no animal movement.

“We would have wanted to transfer animals to Victoria Falls National Park 
but there is no money to undertake this exercise. A decision has thus been 
made that we concentrate on refurbishing existing infrastructure to make 
accessibility easier,” Chadenga said.

The authority announced earlier this year it would be moving animals to one 
of the World’s Seven Wonders whose numbers have dwindled to unprecedented 

It is now difficult for tourists to see any animals particularly the big 

But Chadenga said priorities had changed.

“The priority now is to make sure accommodation and such other 
infrastructure around Victoria Falls is up to scratch and that is what we 
are concentrating our efforts on. We have partners some of whom 
unfortunately seem to be developing cold feet but we will work out 

“Natparks will do its best to contribute to the successful hosting of the 
assembly,” he said.

On the issue of security of tourists following an incident in which a bull 
elephant reportedly went on the rampage causing panic before being put down, 
Chadenga said it was an isolated case but people should always be careful.

“We should always be alive to the fact that these are wild animals and 
anything can happen. However, I must hasten to say we have a strategic plan 
and security details have gone through thorough training, our rangers just 
await deployment,” said Chadenga.

Preparations for the prestigious event to be co-hosted by Zimbabwe and 
Zambia in August 2013 have been marred by controversy following revelations 
by a senior government official, that the bidding committee exaggerated 
pictorial evidence to persuade judges to grant the country the right to host 
the event.

This was followed last week by the European Union threatening to boycott the 
event over the granting of hunting licences to Zanu PF-aligned political 
bigwigs in the Save Conservancy.

Sylvester Maunganidze former permanent secretary in the ministry of Tourism 
was redeployed in the ensuing fallout that threatened Zimbabwe’s diplomatic 
relations with its northern neighbour.

He had claimed Zambia did not have a ministry responsible for tourism and 
was not serious about preparations, and envisaged infrastructural upgrade 
would be impossible because of financial constraints.

Maunganidze also claimed he had been embarrassed to have to lie that Air 
Zimbabwe was flying internationally when it was not.


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