UNWTO preparations in disarray

THE government is still floating tenders as part of preparations for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly, a month before the grandstand event kicks off in August.

Gamma Mudarikiri

The UNTWO conference is slated for August 24 to 29 in Victoria Falls, but only this week the Tourism and Hospitality Industry ministry floated a tender inviting bidders for the supply and installation of semi-permanent marquée and equipment for commercial exhibition at the conference, raising fears that the preparation of the event might be in disarray.

The closing date for the tender is Wednesday.

“The Tourism and Hospitality Industry ministry wishes to invite tenders for suitable suppliers of for the supply and installation of the semi-permanent and equipment for commercial exhibition in Victoria Falls for the 2013 UNWTO General Assembly,” part of the notice reads.

The invitation of suppliers is, however, coming at time when the State Procurement Board is being criticised for delays in processing tenders, with some taking months before finalisation.

Tourism minister Walter Mzembi is on record saying the country is on course to host a grandstanding conference in August successfully.
This is despite reports that the organisation of the conference is facing a myriad of challenges, chief among those being financial constraints.

Treasury is reportedly yet to release funds to finance the general assembly.

The conference has so far been financed by donations from private players.

There are fears also that the impending elections may affect preparations for the tourism summit.

The Constitutional Court last week upheld its July 31 election decision and there are fears that the election might be violent, as has been the trend with past elections.

Mzembi was not available for a comment on why his ministry was still floating tenders a month before the general assembly.

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