Mzembi said Zimbabwe is holding on to a VISA system that is friendly to European countries that have imposed “illegal Sanctions” on Zimbabwe but hostile to friendly countries, addressing a public lecture at Midlands State University .
“There should be a paradigm shift in our Immigration processes so that we do not continue to hold on to a colonial inherited Visa Regime that favors European countries at the expense of friendly countries like China. As the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality, I advice that Visas’ be processed on entry as the current methodology used has a negative impact on revenue from the tourism sectors. Tourists favour destinations that have easy access,” Muzembi said.
He added that Visas’ of nationals from friendly countries should fall in the A category and not in the C category as is the case at the moment.
Visitors from countries in category A, which at the moment mostly includes European countries, do not require visa’s to Zimbabwe. There are also those countries that fall under category B and these get Visa’s at the point of entry. However Category C, which has countries like China and Libya obtain Visa systems in their home countries and in most cases it is only done in the capital cities which means those staying outside the capital cities have to travel to the appropriate City to apply for a VISA.
Muzembi urged that if Zimbabwe and Africa were to realise maximum profits in the tourism sector, they are to take a cue from the European Union (EU). “The EU adopted the Schengen Visa system which allows visitor’s entry into several countries and this is what we should do as Africa,” Engineer Mzembi said adding that even the boarders that Africa wants to respect so much and retain are a colonial product.
The Minister also bemoaned the grounding of the national Airline saying any success story in boosting tourism revenue is based on a reliable national Airliner and an open sky policy.
“Our Airline is needed and it is high time that as a government we concentrate on opening the sky. We used to have more than 45carriers using our airports but now they have dropped to less than 10 and our target is that by 2015, Zimbabwe should have been able to attract back the 45 Airlines,” he said
Quizzed on Libya’s Investments in Zimbabwe following the fall of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and also allegations by the Former Libyan Ambassador in Zimbabwe El Magrahi that during a recent visit Gaddafi’s son Al Saadi had used Libyans funds to invest on family business in Zimbabwe, Muzembi dismissed the statements as blatant lies.