Zimbabwe will co-host the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNTWO) next August.
Mawunganidze, who was actively involved in the preparation stages, revealed to a parliamentary committee under oath that the country’s infrastructure such as Victoria Falls airport and medical facilities were not up to scratch and could not meet UNTWO expectations. He insisted the government was ill-prepared for the world tourism showcase.
Both government officials and tourism sector bodies have since gone on a public relations overdrive to downplay his remarks.
Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi had no kind words for senior civil servants in apparent reference to Mawunganidze for dabbling in “policy” matters at a recent hospitality event.
Mawunganidze is further accused of having said that Zambia’s preparations for the global event were also not up to scratch.
Mawunganidze’s remarks sent panic waves in government, which is seeking to use the event as a public relations platform to redeem the country’s battered international image.
He was previously the principal director in the Ministry of Information and Publicity.