Zim diplomats appeal for packaged information


Bulawayo (New Ziana)- Zimbabwean diplomats on Friday called on Government to arm them with packaged information, particularly economic, to assist them in their efforts to secure investment and trade opportunities abroad, and also effectively market Brand Zimbabwe.

They made the call at a Ministry of Foreign Affairs strategic planning workshop here, where the diplomats are being drilled in economic diplomacy.

Ambassador to Zambia and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, Charity Charamba led the call, imploring government to also produce and give its embassies documentaries on the country`s history.

“As a mission, we started documenting our history with the help of a Zambian production company. Zambia is critical in our history because there some shrines of our fallen heroes and heroines. We want that information about (the) liberation struggle to be documented so that it is shared with people in (the) diaspora,” she said.

Charamba also called on Government to spruce up liberation war shrines in Zambia, saying these were part of the country`s rich history.

Ambassador Priscilla Misihairambwi, who represents the country in the Scandinavian countries, said the Brand Zimbabwe project, which seeks to correct twisted the image of the country painted by the Western media and governments out of malice, was a noble idea which required funding from Government.

“In other countries where we are, they are moving fast in selling themselves and pour money. We are focusing on Qatar (which is holding the football World Cup) and the issue is what are we going to do as a country? Are we going to invest money so that Brand Zimbabwe project goes there to showcase or are we are going to buy jerseys or replicas to market?” she asked.

Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Senegal, James Maridadi said in West Africa, there was lack of information on Zimbabwe such as its tourist attractions and good infrastructure.

“When I presented my credentials to His Excellency the President of Senegal, I got worried about what he asked me. I spoke about Victoria Falls and Great Zimbabwe, and he asked me whether there are five-star hotels in those resort areas,” he said.

“He even asked me whether there is connectivity between Harare and those tourist destinations. To me it showed there is less information that comes through to that part of the world. West Africa knows nothing about Zimbabwe.”

Charity Manyeruke, Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Rwanda, concurred and said Brand Zimbabwe should include trade, culture, and tourism in its package.

“I am appealing to you so that you do not forget us. We need to receive updated publications so that we can share with the Diasporans and stakeholders in the countries where we are accredited to. We are lagging in terms of updated publications so we need them regularly,” she said.

In her response, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the issue of sprucing up shrines outside the borders had been discussed at length in both cabinet and parliament, adding that resources for the exercise may be availed in the next budget.

She said in line with President Mnangagwa mantra, “Leaving No One Behind”, it was critical to accord respect to fallen heroes and heroines whose remains are interred outside the country’s borders.

“It is something that certainly needs to be done so that we show respect to our history and those who sacrificed their lives for us to be what we are today. I am delighted that about your initiative ambassador Charamba to partner with a production company in Zambia to recapture our history,” she said.

“Going forward in the next documentary, we are going to bring our journalists from a newly licenced TV station ZTN, ZBC and New Ziana onboard because we want information to filter to everyone.”

Mutsvangwa said she would also ensure that Memorandums of Understanding signed between her ministry and its agencies regarding information and editorial co-operation were operationalised.

This, she said, would help in the Brand Zimbabwe campaign.
New Ziana

Comments are closed.