12 December 2017

Zimbabwe: Tuku Waits 7 Years for Diplomatic Passport

Superstar Oliver Mtukudzi is still queuing with members of the public at International Airports despite Zimbabwe Tourism Authority announcing that he was the country's tourism ambassador and will get a diplomatic passport seven years ago.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority announced that the iconic musician would get a diplomatic passport but seven years down the line nothing has been done. In 2011, ZTA Chief Executive Karikoga Kaseke used the Indaba International Travel and Tourism Exposition in Durban, South Africa, to announce that Mtukudzi had been made Zimbabwe's tourism ambassador. Three years later former Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Walter Mzembi said he was going to lobby the cabinet to give the superstar the diplomatic passport he deserves.

"I am disappointed that Mtukudzi has not yet received his diplomatic passport. He is our cultural beacon and I think it is high time I raise the issue in the cabinet. Mtukudzi is our cultural ambassador," Mzembi said then. It appears Tuku may have been sold a dummy, as it is nearing a decade of waiting. While the Tuku camp has remained tight lipped on passport with Tuku Board chairperson Tungamidzai Simango saying he has no information on the issue, a close source said the superstar is yet to get the coveted passport.

"Nothing has materialised as yet, hope the new dispensation will facilitate the passport that befits the musician," said the source. With more than 50 albums to his credit, Tuku started his music career in the early 1970s as a member of the Wagon Wheels Band. Later, he started the Black Spirits which he fronts.With the Black Spirits, Tuku has released over 30 full-length albums and several compilations. With his husky voice, he has become the most recognised voice internationally.


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