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Mzembi slams media over bomb hoax

by Staff reporter
17 Feb 2016 at 05:30hrs | Views
Government has urged the media to promote tourism and desist from writing derogatory stories that impact negatively on the nation's international image.

This comes after Holiday Inn Harare evacuated all its guests on Sunday after a receptionist received an anonymous call claiming a bomb had been planted in one of the hotel rooms.

The hotel was temporarily sealed off as police bomb squad teams were dispatched to inspect the rooms.

In an interview yesterday, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Walter Mzembi said the media should adopt a culture of positively marketing the Zimbabwean brand internationally.

"We have an outstanding brand Zimbabwe that we should be promoting hence we should never give legitimacy to a bomb scare," he said.

"The fact that we have given it prominence in the papers shows that we are not clear as to what our national interests are when it comes to promoting brand Zimbabwe."

Minister Mzembi said the media should avoid causing alarm and despondency in the country.

"We do not give legitimacy to a scare in national papers, but this should rather unite us in protecting a brand that we have been working so hard to promote. Why undermine a brand that we are trying to build over a scare?" he said.

"It is irresponsible for the media to give legitimacy to a scare. There is a huge problem when a whole nation is shaken by something as little as a hoax. It is just a phantom that is neither here nor there and we cannot lose sleep over it."

Minister Mzembi said the brand Zimbabwe had to be protected for enhanced economic turnaround.

"We also cannot sacrifice our brand over something that is not there. We are thriving to support and promote Zimbabwe's tourism brand and reports of the scare in papers do not help the situation as it does more harm than good to our tourism sector," he said.

Hotel management officials rubbished the issue saying it was nothing, but a security threatening hoax to disrupt its business.

Dancehall musicians said they were hoping to beat sungura musicians so that they continue their dominance on and off stage. King Shady said it was good that the dancehall genre had talented young stars on and off the stage.

"We have good players and these training sessions help us to pick combinations. The game will bring excitement as well as competition among the artistes," he said.

Shinsoman hailed the organisers for their efforts in bringing artistes together through a social forum.

"This is a good platform to bring musicians together and promoters should be hailed for promoting such platforms," he said.

The ongoing debate on which is a better genre between dancehall or sungura is expected to generate debate again this Saturday as artistes battle for the honours in a soccer match that is becoming an annual event.

Moyo, who will be on the sungura side, said his group would be ready for the match.

"Our team is a strong one and we are just waiting for the day," said Moyo.

Away from the stage, the match has always brought thrills, excitement and competition.

Merry makers usually get an opportunity to mix and mingle with their favourite artists.

Patson Chimbodza, the organiser of the game, said all was set for the match and people should expect fireworks.

Source - the herald