I’m not running away: Mzembi

TOURISM minister Walter Mzembi has insisted that he is not running away from the political chaos in Zimbabwe and the intriguing power scrap bedevilling President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF over the emotive succession issue.

Staff Reporter/NewZimbabwe.com

Walter Mzembi
Walter Mzembi

At 53, Mzembi said he had chosen to succeed in the world and to test himself in a “global classroom” after which he expects to be better prepared for “any eventuality in the future”, an indication he probably has ambitions for Zimbabwe’s top job in future. Mzembi was speaking in London at the weekend where he, among other things, addressed a two-day Zimbabwe Strategy Marketing Indaba organised by Earnest Kadembo.

The Tourism minister, once described by Mugabe as the “best”, said he and others had decided to keep away from the succession debate because it was myopically obsessing about individuals rather than ideas.

Mugabe turned 93 last month; he has since been endorsed as the Zanu PF party’s candidate for elections due next year.

The veteran leader has ruled out retirement, claiming he does not see a competent successor among his top lieutenants, but the ruling party remains at war over the issue.

Zanu PF is divided between two faction with one backing Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, while a rival grouping is determined to stop him; the latter faction reportedly coalesces around Mugabe’s wife, Grace.

High-level sources, however, argue Mugabe is being used as a ruse by a power-hungry group of young leaders fronted by Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere and his friend Jonathan Moyo, who heads the Higher Education ministry.

Mzembi said the debate should not be about individuals, but a contestation of ideas about how to make Zimbabwe a country of opportunity for its young and comfort for its old.

The Tourism minister also criticised the country’s fiscal policies, the failure to enforce productive use of the land, innumerable roadblocks on the roads and their impact on tourism.

Mzembi is campaigning to become secretary-general of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, but Zimbabwe’s poisoned politics has threatened to curtail his bid. He rejected suggestions that he was trying to leave due to frustration with the succession chaos and government’s policy missteps.

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  1. Mr Mzembi fully supports Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF. He does not deserve to be given the top post at the UN World Tourism Organisation. He is part of the chaos that now engulfs Zimbabwe. I hope he does not get the post. He should stay here and face the music in this god forsaken place.

  2. Spot on Ben. His grovelling on BBC Hardtalk puts him in the same realm as Mandi Chimene. It’s worse when grovelling comes from a middle-aged graduate, you then begin to wonder how “good” he really is? Mugabe has described him as “the best” at what? and based on what criteria when the same man goes on to say “no one” has the skill, experience,capability and qualifications to succeed him? Mzembi must stay right here in Zimbabwe and feel everyday the policies of his hero.

  3. Tasha Ruponeso

    Evil for evil will not resolve anything. Do not hate people for no reason.

  4. Jonathan moyo ndiye problem. Unoda kuvhundursira vanhu nechirungu chenhema iye asina common sense. Unofunga kuti ungakunda zvima japan technology uxhihwa źhara iwe? Sometimes being aware of your weakness is your greatest strength kushanda nezviripo we have land good conditions to grow tobacco cotton sugar etc but what we need are more dams to irrigate all those crops kwete stem program. Command agriculture should get more attention as it puts food on the table than these wishful thinking time and money wasting programs. Zvekugona chirungu hazvicha shamisiri ma Japanese acho haatonei nacho zvonohaana need?

  5. Mugabe sees no one capable of succeeding him in his party. He is surrounded by dullards who cannot challenge anything he does.

  6. I guess if he joins the UN he will have better exposure than local political exposure he has already. He seems a level headed person to me and has the capacity to focus on the right stuff. He is different from many of his political counterparts. I would vote him to the post in the UN WTO. At least if he is trying to escape ceremoniously its good for him and who knows, he might help others see the way he would have seen it before and choose to leave peacefully than creating acrimony – probably fears for his life.

  7. I personally don’t see him getting the top job as he has already indicated to the world that he fully supports our old and finished leader the world is watching forget and smile Dr come home this is your place you messed up no one in this world will ever vote for you especially if you are coming from this Group of cowards

  8. mr muzembi want to take his corruption to the UN as well. what a bold move.

  9. I agree with Muzembi on the fact that succession is about the boldness and courage to transform lives of Zimbabweans for the better and not entitlement. You want to succeed Mugabe and do what? What is your programme of action? Do you have the ability to say no to evil? and fight it, for it is evil which has taken us on this destructive path.

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