MANICALAND Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepi Chimene has urged hotel operators in the province to use the story of Zimbabwean tourist Zayd Dada, who mysteriously disappeared on Inyangani Mountain almost three years ago, as a marketing tool.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
Chimene made the remarks at the weekend while officiating at the rebranding of Amber Hotel to Holiday Inn Mutare.
She urged those involved in tourism in the region to claim that Dada would “return” one day.
“We can attract tourists by using the story of that Indian tourist (Dada). Most tourists don’t believe what happened. We will just tell them where he was when he disappeared and we will say to them that he is coming back one day,” she said.
This is despite the fact that former Cabinet minister Tichaendepi Masaya lost two daughters in the same area mysteriously in the early 1980s and nothing has been heard of them ever since.
Chimene added: “I know some of them (tourists) will wait for him to meet them. We need strategies if we are going to survive in this industry. This world is so cruel, so we need to be aggressive in our marketing. Nothing will come on a silver platter.”
Dada disappeared on January 4, 2014 in the company of his wife, Neelam, and another couple as they attempted to climb the mountain.
To date, there has been no clue as to what could have happened to him, with searches drawing blanks.
Five people are recorded as having disappeared on the country’s sacred highest peak.