(Last Updated on August 30, 2013 by Editor)
SIAMESE twins? President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe confers with his Zambian counterpart President Michael Sata during the closing banquet of the UNWTO general assembly in Livingstone on Wednesday night. The event, co-hosted by Zambia and Zimbabwe, has been hailed as a success by delegates and Livingstone residents. – Picture by Thomas Nsama.
From CHAPADONGO LUNGU in Livingstone ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe says the Victoria Falls is nature’s greatest dream and has an inspirational effect on anyone who sees it.
Like a man delivering a religious mantra, Mr Mugabe marketed Zimbabwe and Zambia as the ultimate destination for tourism and at the same time fired a broadside at the United States and United Kingdom for “misinformation.”
“There was posted on Internet from London that a bomb has been planted somewhere here, for you to be frightened so that you could disperse and then it would be said the meeting failed. Then also from Washington, and we are surprised, that visiting the Victoria Falls is dangerous,” Mr Mugabe said and advised the delegates: “Ladies and gentlemen, you are now ambassadors to tell the truth.”
“We seek no harm to others; we seek friendship and co-operation, we seek peace and not war in Africa, we seek good neighbourliness and respect for each other’s territorial integrity. May those of our neighbours in the world who regard themselves superior recognise that small though we are, God has given us the fortune, the wonder…” he said.
The Zimbabwean President said there is neither a greater wonder nor a greater dream than the mighty Victoria Falls. “How it came about only nature knows. Dreams come about because we humans sleep and our minds work on them but the Victoria Falls was nature’s own dream.”
“And nature’s own dream is there for us to get inspired, let come those who doubt that the Victoria Falls has that inspirational effect on their mind, let those who would want to see harm rather than peace come and they will have their minds repaired at the Victoria Falls.”
Mr Mugabe was speaking during the closing ceremony of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation general assembly at Royal Livingstone Hotel on Wednesday.
He appealed to the delegates not to make this their last visit as it was merely their first.
He said the record attendance was testimony that Zambia and Zimbabwe are must-visit tourism destinations. Mr Mugabe emphasised the need to work together and promote tourism as one of the economic drivers.
“We hope you will carry with you fresh memories of the African sunrise and sunset, the hospitality of our people, the fascinating flora and fauna…You have become our worthy ambassadors to spread the message that indeed, the majestic drum sounds loudest and most alluring here in Africa; at the Victoria Falls which remains one of the world’s wondrous monuments to creation,” Mr Mugabe said to a cheer.