The Herald (Harare)

14 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Govt to Disburse Funds for UNWTO Publicity Campaign

GOVERNMENT will this week disburse funds for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation general assembly publicity campaign to be co-hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia in August this year.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti told the House of Assembly yesterday the Government was prepared to successfully host the meeting.

"As Treasury we are releasing some money this week for the extensive publicity of this conference," he said.

Minister Biti could, however, not disclose the amount that Government will release.

He also denied reports in some sections of the media that Zimbabwe was lagging behind in preparations for the event.

"Zimbabwe will successfully co-host the UNWTO in August this year. There are about four things that are required for that and most of those are in place," he said.

Minister Biti said Zimbabwe and Zambia had enough accommodation for the delegates to the conference while rooms for meetings were also in place. He said Government funding for the construction of the venue for plenary sessions from a South African bank was almost in place.

"The third thing that is required is the venue for the plenary. They (organisers) have to construct a structure that can hold 2 000 people and discussions with a regional financial institution to secure the US$6,4 million are ongoing.

"Our role as Government is to ensure there is a guarantee and it came from one of our local banks," he said.

The Finance Minister said a temporary structure for the opening ceremony would also be constructed.

He said a local events company had the capacity to do so.

Minister Biti said Government had legislated instruments to allow service providers in Victoria Falls to import capital goods duty free.

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