Tsvangirai begged to save summit

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PRIME Minister Morgan Tvangirai was yesterday asked to intervene to ensure Zimbabwe’s rights to host this year’s United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) are not taken away because of discord in the inclusive government.

REPORT BY MOSES MATENGA

Tourism minister Walter Mzembi told Tsvangirai the world tourism body had expressed doubts the country can hold the event set for Victoria Falls when Finance Minister Tendai Biti reportedly said the country had $217 in its coffers after paying civil servants last month.

Mzembi told journalists after meeting the PM at his Charter House offices in Harare that the reports had created “unnecessary anxiety” among officials at UNWTO.

“I told him a few things that gave UNWTO anxiety like the bank balance presented by Biti of $217 and they sought to understand how we would host the assembly,” he said.

“I told them that even the visit with my delegation to Spain did not cost the little money.

“I advised them to dismiss that statement as a statement taken out of context as he (Biti) agreed when I approached him after Cabinet and said that he was quoted out of context.”

Biti reportedly made the statements, which received widespread international publicity, at a Press conference in Harare, but the minister said he was quoted out of context.

Mzembi said the concerns were raised in Spain where he attended a UNTWO event last week.

“As we advance towards the assembly it causes despondency, but happily we came back with Zimbabwe and Zambia getting a clean bill of health,” he said.

“He (Biti) has not yet released the money, which is around $12 million (to host the conference), but my Zambian counterpart has been resourced with $20 million.

“And with the PM as the implementer in government and execution is his brief, I told him to play his part.”

Mzembi said he had also agreed with Tsvangirai in their meeting that Zimbabwe must go for elections before the world tourism event in August.

“We concluded with the PM that if elections were held before the assembly, it would present a unique brand opportunity for any future government,” he said.

“It’s a good branding window.”

Alex Magaisa, the chief of staff in the Prime Minister’s Office, confirmed the meeting, saying Mzembi was briefing his boss on the preparations for the assembly.

“He had come to appraise his boss who is responsible for policy implementation in government,” he said.

“We are holding a serious
UNWTO event otherwise we risk losing it if there is nothing from government.

“Mzembi mentioned that it puts him in an embarrassing position, but he managed to solve it. This is an international event, and we don’t want the embarrassment of losing it for any reason whether economic, political or otherwise.

“And this is an opportunity to present the good part of our character as a country.”
Zimbabwe is set to co-host the UNWTO assembly together with Zambia in Victoria Falls and Livingstone.

63 COMMENTS

  1. MDC T is full of political green horns who need a lot of hand-holding. How on earth could a minister of finance issue such a reckless statement? Biti is over zealous and outright stupid. He needs a lot of grooming. This goes to show that the whole lot is not yet ready to manage the affairs of this country at national level. They are good in villages and below. Zimbos must vote wisely come next election. They lack diplomacy and crack these careless jokes to appease their western handlers. God help us!

    • I will take the green horns any day over the geriatrics in ZANU who have run this country to the ground in 32years. What do we have to show for these ‘non-green horns’ of yours? Potholes, blackouts, cholera, unemployment, disease, you name it. Kana Zvichinge zvaramba tsvagai vatsva. What’s the worst that could happen?

    • @Tawanda
      You have aptly summarised it. Both factions of MDC are political pre-term born babies who are still in the woods. Imagine a situation where they had just taken over everything without guidance from Zanu. This country could be disaster by now. They are good in opposition and should not move a gear up. Some small dogs are good at barking and never bite the enermy, such is the MaDhodiChaiwo (MDC) lot.

    • U are so rit, this Biti guys is funny.if he was at a press conference he was supposed to chose his words carefully. now we are abt to risk losin the summit,he does not care koz he has $ already by now, well Zimbabwean must see that these MDC chaps vapfanha vane mukaka pamhuno and they do things vachida a praise which in many situ like this one, they risk every opportunity to get the country bek up…..Biti must grow up, and its not even tsvangirai to solve this, its everyone in gvt who must be an ambassodor so that good thing start to happen in zim not this kind of biti nonsense!nxaaaa.

    • Mari kana pasina hapana, nyika ngaitaurire vanhu vayo chokwadi. kutaurira pachikuru nokuti tinoda rubatsiro in time.

  2. Biti did nothing wrong. If that is the situation(of $217), then I commend him for telling the truth than have lies told to us that the country’s finance are healthy, only for disasters to happen a few days or months later.

    NOW THAT WE KNOW THAT SOMETIMES WE ONLY HAVE $217 IN THE COUNTRY’S COFFERS, THE IMPORTANT THING FOR US IS TO FIND WAYS OF AVOIDING SUCH LITTLE AMOUNTS !!!
    [Pamberi nechokwadi, PASI NEKUNYEPERA VANHU KUTI ZVINHU ZVIRIBHOO IZVO ZVISIRI. PAMBERI neCHOKWADI CHABITI]

    • How can you say Biti did nothing wrong when he himself admitted that he made a stupid statement. He clearly backtracked & CONFIRMED that the $217 was only for a few hours after paying civil servants salaries & there was $30 million in the account a few hours later.
      It is people like you who go around misrepresenting what is is really happening.

      • Biti was right to tell as it is. What is $30MILLION to a nation like zimbabwe? Share it among the population and you get only $2,14. Boasting ourselves with $30M is like the warriors celebrating victory over the zebras of Botswana. PAMBERI NE4CHOKWADI BITI.

    • Recently Biti went globe-trotting to Canada and the London – is he telling us the government used 217 dollars to buy his tickets. Bullshit! He is stupid. Full stop.

  3. tawanda apa wareva apa. Mazivanhu emdc anotinyadzisa mhani aya eish. Tichataura navamugabe tivabvise muhurumende kosara zanu yoga munzwe kuti ndevapi vaingochemachema mhena. Havagoni kutonga vanhu ava basa kungochemachema

  4. @gombingo, the minister was reckless its not everything that needs to be announced its like u moving around telling everyone that your wife or husband is not good in bed then u defend yrself by saying i was only telling people the truth. Sensitive information like that is not for public consumption. This gnu must come to an end jongwe rirambe richitonga zvaro we do not need these western puppets anymore.

    • @bothsides munoti pamberi ne jongwe muwete zvikurusa damage yaitwa ne zanu pf hamuioni kwete, nyika yaparara cruption greedyness etc , zvicherwa zvenyika warikudya wega kumusoro ikoko, ruzhinji rwe ZIMABWE RUCHIDYA NOKO DWEZVIRONDDA,kusupota zanu pf kusa kwana mupfungwa. kusatarisa ramangwana

  5. @gombingo, the minister was reckless its not everything that needs to be announced its like u moving around telling everyone that your wife or husband is not good in bed then u defend yrself by saying i was only telling people the truth. Sensitive information like that is not for public consumption. This gnu must come to an end jongwe rirambe richitonga zvaro we do not need these western puppets anymore.

  6. THe MDC is full of fools. From the very top to their equally foolish supporters.

    Sometimes i wonder if all MDC memebers were carefully selected on account of their stupidity & foolishness.

    The US currently owes China over 16 Trillion Dollars to the point where if the US was a movable property, China could actually successfully seek possession of the country.
    Technically, China owns the entire US.

    Same thing with the UK which also also owes billions to China to the point where the Chinese technically own the whole uk.

    Have you ever compared Zimbabwe’s foreign debt with these so called rich nations? Ofcourse not because you’re fools.

    MDC fools dont even realise that every penny or cent you see the US government spend to fire missiles into innocent people in Iraq or Afghanistan or make so called ‘donations’ to poor countries is actually Chinese money.

    Do your research & you may be surprised to find that Zimbabwe could actually be more solvent than most of these countries that you think are rich.

  7. @ Both sides, you are 100% right. In terms of governance, some information is called “CLASSIFIED”. Although it may be the truth but some truth is better handled at certain levels. Even in a home situation, you do not say everything to the kids. Some information should never leave the bedroom.

  8. … BUT THE STATE OF HEALTH OF THE COUNTRY’S FINANCE IS FOR EVERY ZIMBABWEAN PUBLIC AND TAXPAYER TO KNOW – THIS CANNOT BE COMPARED TO PERFORMANCE IN BED WHICH IS A FAMILY MATTER . . .

    • Its a serious security issue which you are choosing to ignore although it is common sense. Dont look further than this story. The careless statement almost cost this beautiful nation a once-in-a-life time chance to host the conference. Who is the looser in this case? So you choose to blow all the opportunities which come with the hosting of this conference because you want to appease outsiders with your dirty linen. This is our country’s dirty linen which we should never wash in public because doing so does not in any way benefit the ordinary man in the street. Why defend the indefensible mhani. Havaite vanhu ve MDC ava. Madofo

  9. THE STATE OF HEALTH OF THE COUNTRY’S FINANCE IS NEVER $217.
    THE $217 WAS ONLY FOR A FEW HOURS IF NOT MINUTES & THIS WAS AFTER PAYING SALARIES.

    NO COUNTRY LETS BILLIONS ON DOLLARS JUST SIT IN THE BANK.

    THE JOB OF ANY GOVERNMENT IS TO SPEND MONEY ACCORDING TO THE BUDGET.

    IF YOU BUDGET TO SPEND A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF MONEY IN YOUR HOUSE YOU SHOULD BE SURPRISED IF THERE IS STILL ANY MONEY LEFT AFTER YOU MEET YOUR BUDGET WHICH WOULD ACTUALLY MEAN YOUR BUDGET WAS WRONG.

    YOU ALSO DO NOT KEEP YOUR SAVINGS IN THE SAME EXPENDITURE ACCOUNT UNLESS YOU’RE A COMPLETE IDIOT AS YOU ARE DEMONSTRATING HERE.

    SO IF BITI DREW UP THE BUDGET & HE FAILED TO PAY SALARIES OR EXPENSES AS EXPECTED THEN HE WOULD HAVE MADE A WRONG BUDGET BUT THE FACT THAT THE MONEY WAS SPENT EXACTLY AS EXPECTED MEANS THE COUNTRY IS STICKING TO ITS BUDGET.

    PLEASE USE THAT MDC HEAD TO THINK ZVINEMUSORO

  10. hapana anotaura truth muhurumende.every1 is a liar.we just need a change of lies , new detector with new tricks.THESE PEOPLE THEY DONT HAVE PEOPLE AT HEART.

  11. Is the headline meant to boost Tsvangirai’s oversiszed ego and standing? Nothing in the story relates to any form of begging rather being told to reign in his reckless motor mouth finance minister. Tsvangirai as prime minister is expected to make sure that Zimbabwe successfully hosts the UNWTO summit otherwise if it all goes awry then he will have failed. How can he be begged to do what should naturally be his job that we are paying him for? Newsday needs to come up with better headlines.

      • Who is brain dead between you and me? I have written a comment relating to the story and all you have done is call me brain dead. Typical MDC-T mental midget. You cannot comprehend issues so resort to insults. Pathetic!

  12. Guys guys lets stop this name calling bullshit and collectively work for the good of the motherland Zimbabwe ..we are all kith and kin for christ’s sake

  13. Gombingo z juss brainless and thoughtless. U cant just recklessly say things that put the country in jeorpady even if it is the truth .

  14. THE PROBLEM HERE IS VANHU ARIPA FORUM INO DO NOT THINK OBJECTIVELY. HOW DOES HAVING £217 TURN INTO A SECURITY ISSUE. NYIKA HAIFANIRWE KUMBOSARA IINE PONDO EVEN FOR A FEW DAYS – THAT IS A SIGN OF POOR STATE OF FINANCIAL AFFAIRS. A PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL, YES NOT A COUNTRY THAT HAS MILLIONS OF PEOPLE TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR.

    • @Gombingo,
      Have you ever heard of the “Official Secrets Act” It touches on such secrets and Biti as a lawyer should have known better. This is a typical official secret which shouldn’t be told to all and sundry.

  15. Guys, everyone has a right to choose their political affiliation, no need for all the name calling becoz at the end of the day we will rule out kuti empty tins indeed make the loudest noise, apa Tsvangirayi anzi atadzeyi, Newsday yaisa headline-yes, but that is jus to lure readers nd spark such, Mr Gono made a bad joke and that we cant defend him hedu but it should not discredit him or MDC the way that it is being done here. Calm down and realise that in the past few years both sides have made valuable mistakes, instead of name callin and wasting time, let’s put our heads together and avoid such mis-haps.

    • MANKIND UNENGE URI PROGRESSIVE ZVAKO IWE. WE JUST WANT A FINANCIALLY HEALTHY COUNTRY. IT SEEMS MOST VANHU VARI KUNYORA PANO ARE JUST ASPIRING POLITICIANS WHO AWARD MERITS ACCORDING TO WHAT POLITICAL PARTY THEY THINK YOU COME FROM INSTEAD OF THE USEFULNESS OF YOUR CONTRIBUTION.

      1. HAVING $217 IS NOT A SECURITY ISSUE
      2. IF WE ARE TO HOST THE UNTWO, WE NEED TO HAVE MONEY. IT WILL BE MUCH MORE EMBARASSING IF THINGS GO HAYWIRE WHEN THOUSANDS OF VISITORS ARE ALREADY IN THE COUNTRY.

      INGA WANI HURUMENDE YACHO IRI KUTI HAINA MARI YEMA-ELECTIONS, SAKA MURI KUDII KUTI ITS EMBARASSING ???

    • @mankind, hw can we put our heads together nevanhu vasingafunge sana gombingo arikuramba achinyora zvisina basa achi supporter ma mistakes a biti. Mdc knows zanu wil win e elections so they dont want us host the conference.

  16. elections shld be held in dec so they wll not create an unfavourable condition for the event to take place.the political environment is hard to predict,we dont know wats happens and violence is always there in zimbabwe nomatter what.if violence occured during outreach proggrammes watmore towards elections.we need security sectors that are non-partisan who bring all perpetrators of violence to book regardless of wch party they come from.In zimbabwe we claim to be educated but what we do during election doesnt show any level of being educated people.we pray that this election shld be one wth a difference where people are going to choose their leader wthout intimidations of their choice.

  17. WE JUST WANT A FINANCIALLY HEALTHY COUNTRY. IT SEEMS MOST VANHU VARI KUNYORA PANO ARE JUST ASPIRING POLITICIANS WHO AWARD MERITS ACCORDING TO WHAT POLITICAL PARTY THEY THINK YOU COME FROM INSTEAD OF THE USEFULNESS OF YOUR CONTRIBUTION.

    1. HAVING $217 IS NOT A SECURITY ISSUE
    2. IF WE ARE TO HOST THE UNTWO, WE NEED TO HAVE MONEY. IT WILL BE MUCH MORE EMBARASSING IF THINGS GO HAYWIRE WHEN THOUSANDS OF VISITORS ARE ALREADY IN THE COUNTRY.

    INGA WANI HURUMENDE YACHO IRI KUTI HAINA MARI YEMA-ELECTIONS, SAKA MURI KUDII KUTI ITS EMBARASSING ???

  18. Gombingo, do u ve brains biti wacho akadii kutaura bank bal before pay yema civil servants. Im sure biti n tsvangirayi are paid by the west to act silly. We dont need these guys in gvt anymore. Cant wait for elections.

  19. its true that biti and tsvangirai are full of sh**t. These guys don’t mind the future of zimbabwean. These sellouts are paid by westerners to kill our country.we dont want them in zim from now

  20. The Minister needs a bit of grroming. However, that does not mean is not ready to rule. Ndimi vana aniko imi munoti they are not ready.

  21. Vanhu ve MDC-T stop defending the indefensible. Biti was reckless and stupid to say what he said. Not only did he say something stupid and misinformed about the bank balance, he even went on to claim that if Zimbabwe was a private company he would have shut it down. This guy is supposed to be the minister of finance or if we take the private company view, the Chief Finance Officer. In a private company if the chief finance office made the two reckless statements that Biti made, he would be sacked. Biti is supposed to be at the forefront of selling Zimbabwe to investors and not decampaigning it as he has been doing. He still thinks he is in opposition when he actually holds the purse strings of the country’s finances.

    If the country does not have enough money and cannot raise enough money then Biti is failining in his job. There are however not surprises as to why we cannot raise funds when the guy who is supposed to reassure those who would like to invest in our country is discouraging them with stupid and reckless statements. You will never hear the Greek finance minister saying about broke Greece what Biti said about resource rich Zimbabwe. This was the biggest mistake Tsvangirai ever made besides women, appointing Biti to finance vana Mashakada nana Mangoma varipo. More like jobs for the boys than strategic appointment. Biti’s love for sound bites at the eepense of our country should never be tolerated by those proud of their country. There is nothing shocking about the country only having $200 in the bank, the USA considered the richest country in the world nearly defaulted on its debts when they could not agree on raising the country’s borrowing levels. Kuto kwereta! What this means is that the USA bank account is totally in negative balance at all levels. At least we had a positive balance.

    • Don’t lie. The previous Greek finance minister resigned after clashing with the head if state over the state bank balance. Obama himself has said his country is broke such that some states are richer than the federal bank and they want a breakaway so that they generate their financial resources within their states and use them in their states. That’s as openly saying the state is broke. If you listened to both American presidential debates all candidates agreed that the state was financially in the doldrums. American federal bank accounts can be accessed on the websites thus becoming public knowledge. In Zimbabwe we don’t have such access and personally I think Biti should tell the nation it’s borrowing, income expenditure, investments etc. Call them checks and balances.
      As for the Greeks, God save their ancient history, they have turned their myths into more myths. They are sucking every nation into fiscal meltdown directly or indirectly.

      Get your facts right before exposing your naked half truths!!!

      • The Greek minister resigned so why hasn’t Biti resigned? At least the Greek minister realised he didn’t have the stamina to rescue their ailing economy and resigned. He did not talk down his country at every opportunity like Biti is doing and has been doing for a long time. Did Obama tell the whole world the USA’s bank balance? It’s one thing to say our country is broke which is the case with most other countries in the world anyway. However Biti doesn’t seem to know the limits of how much to disclose. Obama was speaking in general terms but MDC-T mental midgets wouldn’t know the difference. Obama was talking about what needs doing to create growth and Biti hasn’t said anything about measures that he is putting in place to create growth.

        Mzembi knows that hosting the UNWTO will sell the country to tourists thereby generating growth for the country’s economy. Such rationale is lost on MDC-T mental midgets. There are greater rewards to be reaped from hosting such an international summit.

  22. Nyaya ndeyokuti madhara emupolitics ngazive zvokutaura pamberi pevanhu especially media.Mira uone kana oda kuita prez media ichadzosa blunder yaaita iyi.

  23. Its nice we have this inclusive gvt we have the chance to vote wisely. No need to waste money in campaigning,Zimbabweans have the right answer to all these stupid utterances

  24. I wish I could believe Mr Mzembi’s enthusiasm to court Tswangirai his arch enemy of all time.What does he have to say about the questions put to him in Spain by those people who matter on whether this big event will happen or not who questioned him about his involvement at Renco Mine-it is this that threatens the conference and not what Biti said-when will Zimbos open up their eyes and stop being hoodwinked.Mr Mzembi only needs to approach Obert Mpofu(Dr) for some of the diamond proceeds bacuase if Biti’s caufers are empty,the caufers are empty period

    • i couldnt agree with you more Mzmbi made a mess and he is now trying to blame others his bribery allegations are a mystrey considering he failed to report them to the police until the miner outed him as a trouble maker beside nothing is happening at victoria falls all we hear is what will be done and the confrence is drawing closer the chances of loosing the right to host the event are highly likely.Saying Biti was reckless is absurd considering that it is a known fact that zim is dead broke what is new about that?. surely the Spaniard knew about zim s predicament Biti was not lying at the time 217 dollars why host an event if we have no money?.

  25. Zimbabwe doesnt need anythng to disturb this summit.Don jus read the headlins and muv away,as it would b written in a way of attractng u as a customer.lets hav our nation at hrt nd b proud of it,desist frm tarnshng countrys image.Zim z a very peacefl country wth a conduciv environment wch require professional individuals to conduct their duties in a more diversified way.I thnk all these foolsh statements wont tek us anywy.

  26. What a circus. Morgan has no capacity and Walter knows it. Zanu emptied the coffers, Tendai is a loose cannon. Zimbabwe is unable to host, period.

  27. Dnt put the blame on a one day mistake made by Biti,wat about a 32y mistake.u think people are nt seeing this.muchaona zvichaitika

  28. And the next day we want the UN to fund OUR elections for $250m because the country is BROKE yet we demonise Biti for telling it as it is. I would have been the first to kick his balls if he was lying. But we can’t skin him alive for exposing the truth. It’s the truth. Family secrets and state finances accountability are not on the same wavelength please!! Now the UN will call for reforms and some one is going to shout ” we was robbed”. Who pays the piper calls the tune. Why was I ever born in this country honestly? Sometimes we shame our parents for their sins. Imagine your father being caught red handed stealing a neighbour’s duck!! You wish you weren’t their child. Yooooh

  29. All of u who a against Biti u a stupids coz he explained himself that it was a figure of speech muchishona dimikira to potray that we should bring out our begging bowls. Go back to school. That Mzembi iş he not the öne who said Makandiwa and engel are tourist ATTRACTİONS?

    • Figure of what? Are you serious? Angel and Makandiwa are indeed tourist attractions so Mzembi is right. People are going to be coming to Zimbabwe to see these two men performing miracles, creating money, gold dust, diamonds, teeth and hair among other things. In their own small way they are tourist attractions. You obviously don’t know what a tourist attraction is. There is such a thing as cultural tourism, where people hear about certain practices in a country and travel to go and witness it. This is where Makandiwa and Angel come in.

      Biti is a misdirected reckless buffoon who takes pride in talking down his country instead of promoting it like Mzembi is doing with hosting the UNWTO summit.

  30. As Zimbabweans lets stop name calling and work as a team.We need to weed out corruption,dereliction of duty,individualism,Western agendas and looting of national resources.

  31. THERE IS NO ERROR OR MISTAKE COMMITTED BY BITI. IT SEEMS BITI’S CRIME WAS TO MENTION A FIGURE OF $217. THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE IN THE FOLLOWING THREE STATEMENTS “HURUMENDE HAINA MARI” , “HURUMENDE INONGORI NE$10 MILLION CHETE FOR ELECTIONS” , “HURUMENDE HAINA KANA CENT”. THE SUMMARY OF THE THREE STATEMENTS IS THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS BROKE. MHOSVA YA-BITI NDEYEKUTI AKATAURIREI FIGURE; MIND YOU THE STATEMENT “HURUMENDE HAINA KANA CENT” MEANS HURUMENDE HAS ZERO DOLLARS !!!!

    THE FINANCIAL HEALTH OF THE COUNTRY IS NOT A SECRET, IT IS LIVING HAND TO MOUTH. FOR YOUR OWN INFORMATION INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS SAY A COUNTRY IS SAID TO BE JUST BREAKING EVEN WHEN IT HAS FOREIGN CURRENCY RESERVES TO LAST IT 3-MONTHS IN AN EMERGENCY SITUATION BUT THE GUYS ON THIS FORUM THINK HAVING $217 FOR A FEW MINUTES IS OK !!! MY FOOT . . .

  32. I don’t know what you guys are hackling about. Biti made a foolish mistake & lack of judgement! But does that wipe away his handling of that Ministry since inauguration, no! Does it make Zanu angels? Does it equate to Gukurahundi? Does it equate to 2008 violence? Does it equate to Gonomics & bearer ‘chequesation’! Remember the Diesel N’anga! Jatropha tree! 25 million percent inflation!

    Biti’s mistake is just a storm in a tea cup. his bosses must simply reprimand him.

  33. Look, people, we need honest administrators in this country and Biti is certainly one on them.If the government does not have money, then let it be known. Who does not know that as a country we are broke? In any case Biti was talking about the position of the gvment account at that particular time. The position might have changed. Thanks Biti for the guts, you are your own man.I don’t give a damn about hosting the UNWTO. Is it going to finish all our problems.Lets make our country right, by doing the right things, rather than trying to potray situations that are not real.Those who are castigating Biti are the very people who deny the presence of violence and intimidation during elections.

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