By Alex Bell
SW Radio Africa
3 June 2014
A Bucharest tourism group, which claims to be linked to the European Union (EU), has said it is not bound by foreign policy in its decision to award Zimbabwe a tourism prize.
A delegation from the European Council of Trade and Tourism (ECTT) is in Zimbabwe to hand over the prize of Best Tourism Destination 2014. The prize, announced in May, has been described as ‘dubious’ and lacking in credibility, but has been used by ZANU PF as an endorsement by Europe of its leadership.
The group’s President Professor Anton Caragea told journalists this week, after meeting Vice President Joice Mujuru and Senior Minister of State Simon Khaya Moyo, that the Council was not bound by the EU’s policies.
“We are a non-governmental organisation and we are nowhere related to Government. We have come here only to praise the culture of Zimbabwe, the tourism legacy, to promote the tourism in Zimbabwe and this is absolutely mandatory. We are not interested in politics except politics of friendship, politics of cooperation and collaboration,” Caragea
The group claims on its website to be a formation of 27 EU tourism members, acting as a non-profit tourism promotion group.
However, there is no evidence of the group being linked to the EU leadership bloc, whose website holds no record of the ECTT.