Karikoga Kaseke the chief executive officer of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has said that his organisation regretted giving the Miss Tourism Zimbabwe (MTZ) pageant licence to Barbara Mzembi, wife of newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs Walter Mzembi. Kaseke said he regretted the fact that he had not seen the conflict of interest even though Walter Mzembi was the minister of tourism and hospitality industry when the licence was given to his wife.
Addressing a press conference, Kaseke said:
We have discussed this at board level and the board blasted me for issuing the licence to Mrs Mzembi saying why did you do that, didn’t you see conflict, I had not seen conflict until conflict showed itself.
It could have been anyone else as [because] we did not consider her as the minister’s wife, but we considered her as, maybe, fulfilling the long-term requirement that someone from the private sector or a private organisation should run Miss Tourism Zimbabwe.
We are not running Miss Tourism Zimbabwe. We can’t run it when we have issued the licence to a private player. When we issued the licence to a private player you don’t do it yourself, we must put our hands off and allow the private player to go ahead and do the pageant.