ZIMBABWE PREPARES TO WELCOME THOUSANDS OF TOURISTS
TO VICTORIA FALLS FOR THE UNITED NATIONS WORLD TOURISM
ORGANIZATION GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN AUGUST 2013
SPECIAL REPORT BY XINHUA CORRESPONDENT
HARARE (Xinhua) — As Zimbabwe prepares to welcome thousands of tourists to Victoria Falls for the United Nations World Tourism Organization general assembly in August 2013, it has also begun contemplating how to deal with a different kind of tourist that will definitely “grace” the occasion – prostitutes.
Although the Secretary for Tourism and Hospitality Industry Sylvester Maunganidze told Parliament Monday that those suspected to be soliciting for purposes of prostitution would be arrested, experience of past events of such a magnitude elsewhere points to local police stations being overwhelmed by the situation.
All over the world, commercial sex workers are attracted to huge international gatherings; from the Olympic Games to the Football World Cup tournament and even political events. And come August 2013, Zimbabwe will not be spared.
Delegates will come from at least 176 countries and some will not only want to sample the flora and fauna and other physical attractions offered by the country, but also seek adventure in other social spheres.
Incidentally, the country’s tourism promotion agency, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, has given it a new brand: “ Zimbabwe —A World of Wonders”.
Maunganidze is at least being practical by accepting that even the delegates would be eager to meet Zimbabwean women, warning that they would be angry if the authorities barred the commercial sex workers from the resort.
He acknowledged that Zimbabweans generally turned a blind eye towards the commercial sex workers but said the nation would not advertise their services as what happens in other countries.
A journalist working with a women’s organization told Xinhua that she saw nothing wrong with allowing the commercial sex workers into Victoria Falls during the general assembly.
“Yes (they should be allowed) because without the professionals the general assembly will be a flop. Men love having fun and that fun comes from women and who could entertain for a fee and will too much fun besides sex workers?”
She was worried, however, that Zimbabwean women could lose out to foreigners such as Zambians, whom she said were more beautiful.
“Zambians are more beautiful so I am of the opinion that foreigners should not be allowed in Victoria Falls . Zimbabweans will thus benefit since they will be the only indigenous women around. That’s my take,” she said.
A former model based in Bulawayo did not give reasons for her suggestion, only saying that delegates should bring their own partners.
However, there will be another type of commercial sex worker in the form of gays and lesbians that the authorities may not turn a blind eye on.
Although many Zimbabweans accept that prostitution is rife in the country, most frown upon same sex relationships and the police are quick to arrest those who are caught in the act.
Political parties working on a new constitution for the country are divided over the matter, with President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu- PF against the inclusion of homosexuality as a human right while the other parties accept it as such.
Some people argue that homosexuals should be left alone as long as they do their act in private and do not offend their fellow predominantly conservative countrymen and countrywomen.
Zimbabwe launches water
conservation awareness campaign
HARARE (Xinhua) — The Zimbabwean government on Friday launched the Water Conservation Awareness and Zero Litter Campaign in Harare .
At the launching ceremony, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai called on every Zimbabwean to take responsibility in conserving the environment and water, saying that the country must never witness a repeat of cholera outbreak in 2008.
“Local authorities must be given powers to arrest and fine offenders of environmental crimes,” he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara also encouraged all the ministries to initiate good environmental policies for the development of the country and ensure that they are fully implemented.
“Follow through with good coordination and ensure that they are implemented for the country to be developed,” Mutambara said.
The government launched the campaign in collaboration with the Harare City Council and the Institute of Water and Sanitation Development.
Line ministries including the Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development, Ministry of Water Resources Development and Management, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Management and the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare made passionate pleas to the public to protect their environment.
Musician Derrick Mpofu of the ‘Chisikana changu Zimbabwe ’ fame was bestowed goodwill ambassador for the conservation awareness and zero litter campaign.
The campaign has been necessitated by the shortages of water against an ever increasing demand as well as the increase in indiscriminate disposal of garbage.