The passionate plea for peace by Tourism and Hospitality minister Walter Mzembi on Wednesday could not have come at a better time given recent political developments that point to the country slowly sliding back into chaos.
Calls for elections this year by President Robert Mugabe have seen an increase in violence.
Some parts of the country, including Harare, have seen a number of legislators being barred from attending key events in their constituencies, a development that does not augur well for the country.
Mzembi told journalists that tourism required peace if it was to succeed.
“Unless we are able to maintain this enabler we can forget about tourism,” he said.
“That is why I must end by reiterating President Mugabe’s call for peaceful elections that we shall soon hold.
“We are all aware of what happens when a tourism destination is plagued with violence and insecurity.
“Indeed, very attractive destinations in North Africa are losing their tourist numbers to Southern Africa, which is rapidly becoming a haven of peace.”
We agree with Mzembi that while peace is a key enabler for the success of the country’s tourism industry, all sectors and indeed everybody in the country requires a peaceful environment to succeed.
If at all we are going to succeed as a country we have to agree to disagree, but not in a violent manner.
The violence that rocked Egypt and Libya recently had a severe impact on the two countries’ tourism industries and ultimately their economies.
A stable macroeconomic environment is also necessary to create a conducive platform for trade to thrive.
The success or failure of this country therefore lies in our ability to live in harmony, albeit with different viewpoints.
It is against this background that we urge the Zimbabwe Republic Police to ensure that peace prevails in the country and politicians to refrain from making political statements that might incite violence.
In whatever we do let’s remember that we all need peace.
Zimbabweans are tired of violence and our leaders need to speak with one voice in denouncing this vice.
Even as the country marks Easter, we hope peace will prevail.