Chiefs want Mutoko Ruins spruced up

HARARE - A contingent of chiefs yesterday asked Walter Mzembi, the Tourism minister, to spruce up Mutoko Ruins to attract tourists.

Chief Mutoko, Phillemon Nyachoto and footballer Edward Sadomba, asked Mzembi during a courtesy call to start sprucing up Mutoko Ruins, lying 143km from Harare, to attract tourists.

“I am humbled by the courtesy call and it came the same day when I had discussed with my deputy that we needed to promote domestic tourism as instructed by President Mugabe,” Mzembi said.

“We need to promote domestic tourism in places such as Kariba, Bulawayo, Mutare, and Masvingo.

“We have finished with Harare and Victoria Falls. We have the Mutoko Ruins, Khami Ruins, Great Zimbabwe Ruins and what we are saying is that we should work on them and make them look nice.”

Receiving two tourism awards from the European Council on Tourism and Trade (ECTT) last month, Mugabe instructed Mzembi to promote domestic tourism and conscientise Zimbabweans about their cultural heritage.

Mzembi said he would instruct his deputy, brigadier-general Walter Kanhanga to also look at sprucing up places that were used by liberation war veterans.

“I tasked my deputy, who has a liberation war background, to work on places that were used by our liberation war veterans,” Mzembi said.

“I also tasked him to work on domestic tourism. The first pilot project was done on Altena Farm and Mutoko Ruins are going to be the second.”

Chief Mutoko praised Mzembi for the sterling work that he had done in his ministry.

“I paid a courtesy call to a son from Mutoko, Mzembi to tell him that he is indeed the best minister,” Chief Mutoko said.

“We successfully hosted the UNWTO and recently we won two tourism awards all because of our son who comes from Mutoko. Mzembi is a Shumba from Mutoko. I concur with president Mugabe he is one of his best ministers.

“There are other ministers who are good but I came here to tell Mzembi that he is one of the best.

“But I would like to urge other chiefs to identify tourist attractions in their constituencies and notify the ministry. We need to promote our domestic tourism because we stand to gain a lot.

“We have the Mutoko Ruins and they can be turned into a tourist attraction.”

Mzembi urged his cabinet peers to concentrate on their ministries.

“A nation has one leader at a time and every time,” Mzembi said.

“We should concentrate on development rather than trying to go to the top. I, as the minister of Tourism, should work hard to attract tourists and grow the sector. This should also apply to all my colleagues.”

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