Tourism ministry buys vehicles worth $50 million from India

An Ashok Leyland bus

By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
4 April 2014

The Ministry of Tourism has ordered 670 vehicles from an Indian company, just two days after the chief executive of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority complained that his organisation is underfunded.

In a statement Ashok Leyland said it had secured an order worth $50 million to be delivered in the 2014-15 financial year. Tourism minister Walter Mzembi confirmed the deal but declined to comment further. The deal is based on Zimbabwe receiving a ‘line of credit’ from India.

Nothing is known about what the vehicles are for or how the ministry will pay for them or even if the ministry had gone to tender.

On Wednesday, Karikoga Kaseke, the ZTA chief executive officer, complained that they had only received $50,000 from Treasury so far this year. He said the authority was allocated only $2.2 million by Treasury against the $35 million requested for its activities.

Our Bulawayo correspondent Lionel Saungweme said the ministry should have used part of the money to market the country’s tourist destinations, rather than spend it all on vehicles.

‘The Ministry is not that big to buy over 600 vehicles…one wonders what the vehicles are for, unless if they are earmarked for tourist companies around the country,’ Saungweme said.

Tourism used to be the country’s third biggest foreign currency earner, attracting nearly one and a half million visitors a year. But by December 2000 that number of visitors had fallen by 75%. This had a massive impact on the economy as thousands of people lost their jobs as companies closed down.

Last year Zimbabwe and Zambia co-hosted the UNWTO General Assembly which provided the two countries the rare opportunity to showcase their tourism products to the world. But the ZANU PF led government has made no effort to increase the country’s tourism potential and in fact is proposing a VAT tax on foreign visitors which will depress the industry even more.



3 Responsesto “Tourism ministry buys vehicles worth $50 million from India”

  1. Why does nobody ask the Questions we need ASKED?!!

    eg (Tourism used to be the country’s third biggest foreign currency earner, attracting nearly one and a half million visitors a year. But by December 2000 that number of visitors had fallen by 75%. This had a massive impact on the economy as thousands of people lost their jobs as companies closed down)
    (?) WHY HAS TOURISIM FALLEN!!?
    (?) Why do we need so many buses
    (?) And why do we not allocate that money to different sources that require it Spread it out better , 670 vehicles ,
    (?) 670 vehicles Require maintenance ! Drivers , conducters , mechanics , and not for getting spare parts , including garages with mechanics who are capable and trained to deal with such vechiles . Who or what pays for this alone . considering that we have a declining tourist industry which will continue to decline . Now i know we have some people out there who will say that tourisim will recover and that i do not know what i am speaking about but basic facts suggest and show we will have buses galore but no improvement to the the tourisim infrastructure , the buildings hotels and tourist areas because we have not invested in them or updated them . nobody wants to go on holiday to a country with basic facilitys ,! these include first class hospitals and fully equiped hospitals .

    • Common Sense says:

      I think you can see they won’t be used for tourism… but to fill the gaps with the terrible ZUPCO bus (non) Service…

  2. Tiger Shona says:

    It is corruption. Plain and simple. And CW what is your cut out of this?

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