POLICE ABUSING FOREIGNERS :MNANGAGWA | Acting President Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa has rapped the police for the way some of them treat foreigners particularly those that travel in foreign registered vehicles as this gives a wrong picture and perception to investors and tourists about the country.
Addressing captains of industry during the official opening of Golden Mile Hotel in Kwekwe yesterday, Acting President Mnangagwa said there was a need to sensitise and educate police officers and Government officials at all border posts and other ports of entry as well as along major highways to treat foreigners with respect as this would enhance the ease of doing business.
He said corruption among Government officials, particularly those manning ports of entry and border posts had been a major cause for concern.
“The success of the tourism sector is largely a function of related ministries such as the Home Affairs, Transport and Infrastructural Development. It is therefore important that these ministries play their part in a way that enhances business.“Unfortunately this has not always been the case as most of the time visitors have been delayed at border posts with further delays taking place at roadblocks. They struggle to drive through the country. We need to sensitise our people at the borders on how to handle visitors. Visitors should feel comfortable and that they are wanted in Zimbabwe.
“We need to sensitise police officers that when they see a foreigner or foreign registration number they should think in their minds that they are seeing an investor, not somebody who has come to finish their food. There have been allegations of bribery and corruption by Government officials further eroding the image of the country in the eyes of the visitors,” he said.
Cde Mnangagwa said there was also a need for other sectors of the economy to use denominated prices that encompass all currencies in the region particularly the South African rand as this would ease the liquidity crunch and also make business competitive.
“I am happy to note that the tourism and hospitality industry was the first to appreciate that the US dollar denominated pricing model does not work in the regional competitive market such as ours. Therefore, in order to match our brothers and sisters in the region they have to peg their prices in rand.
To remain competitive all sorts of business and sectors of the economy should adopt the rand denominated pricing,” he said.
Cde Mnangagwa said the Government had allocated 378 ha of land to the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Management as it sought to promote tourism by improving infrastructure and make the country globally competitive in terms of hospitality.“I am advised that 378 (ha) has have been allocated to the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Management so that they can also expand their facilities in Victoria Falls,” he said.
Golden Mile owner and managing director Mr Solomon Matsa said the hotel was aiming for three or four stars in terms of customer service ratings.