No UNWTO clashes, ZTA boss

HARARE - Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive Karikoga Kaseke says relations between him and the Tourism ministry over preparations for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) are cordial.

This comes as the ex-Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe boss’ name has been dragged into an alleged fight with Tourism minister Walter Mzembi over the use of $2,5 million donated by Mbada Diamonds (Mbada) towards the hosting of the world event by Zimbabwe, and Zambia in August.

“We are not at loggerheads. I was not there when Mbada and Mzembi signed the deal,” he said, adding that he only got to know about the UNWTO facility after approaching the Borrowdale-based company for funds to stage the Sanganai/Hlanganani Conference last year.

In his request for $100 000, Kaseke was then told he could not get any help as the miner had already given or committed to his parent ministry nearly $3 million — to be given in monthly instalments of $250 000.

While there have been widespread allegations of abuse of the funds — to an extent that police have allegedly investigated the matter — the ZTA boss also said there have been some misconceptions about the application of the Mbada funds after they had visited Spain for a major international exhibition.

Instead, Kaseke disclosed, Treasury funded the entire Madrid jaunt.

“I am hearing all this (presumed clashes) for the first time.

“This is speculation (and) it’s not fair to just rope in other people’s names,” he said. - Staff Writer

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