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ZTA targets Beitbridge ahead of UNWTO


THE Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) will lead a delegation of government officials to investigate irregularities at the Beitbridge border post sometime this month as part of preparations for hosting the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly in August.


ZTA chief executive officer Karikoga Kaseke told Southern Eye Business yesterday that the investigation, expected to be led by the Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Walter Mzembi, follows complaints raised by tourists on the delays and alleged harassment of visitors at the busy border post.

“Tourists have been complaining bitterly about delays at the Beitbridge border post and some of the complaints have been substantive leading to the investigation,” he said.

However, ZTA has been promising the probe since the beginning of the year, but it has not materialised.

The UNWTO General Assembly is slated for August24-29 in Victoria Falls and neighbouring Livingstone in Zambia.

Kaseke said Mzembi had of late been busy with the coming elections hence the delays in dispatching the investigation team.

Kaseke was adamant the investigation would be undertaken before the elections scheduled for July 31.

“The minister is at the moment busy with the election, but I am sure that the investigation will be carried before elections,” he said.
Beitbridge is the busiest border post in Southern Africa, handling an estimated 9 000 travellers daily.

The figures sometimes soar up to over 25 000 during holidays resulting in congestion.

Tourists have also complained about alleged harassment by traffic police officers on the country’s highways.

The Beitbridge probe would come at a time when ZTA has been making efforts to market Zimbabwe as a safe tourist destination especially towards the UNWTO conference.

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