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Hello, is there anybody out there?

Excuse me while I rant. Watching SABC Africa last night I came across a story about Fifa officials preparing to visit Zimbabwe to assess the country’s capacity to host fans from the 2010 World Cup.

Then, yesterday morning, I found the equivalent story online, which you can read here.

I can’t believe that with Zimbabwe facing economic meltdown and soaring inflation, which has left many Zimbabweans destitute and starving, resulting in an ever-growing humanitarian crisis and a flood of desperate refugees into neighbouring countries, that we can sit here and talk about Zimbabwe’s plans to cash in on 2010.

The story quotes the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive Karikoga Kaseke stating that Zimbabwe plans to spend $67-million on hotels and infrastructure before 2010. Are you kidding?

People are starving and this country is being ruled by a brutal dictator (and SADC lacks the balls to stand up to him). All we can think to talk about is opportunities presented by 2010.

So while Fifa delegates get to visit swanky five-star hotels and tourist meccas like the Victoria Falls, everyone will remain stumm about the crappy reality on the ground in Zimbabwe.

“It is either you prove your worth or they move to the next country. Don’t tell them we have this problem and the other, tell them what you can do for them,” said Tourism Minister Francis Nhema.

Exactly my point. Let’s just ignore the reality on the ground; maybe it will go away. Not likely.

Just a note on the image, it is a photo taken of a painting by a guy called Jason Bronkhorst, which was at a friend of mine’s house. You can check out Jason’s other work on his blog here

Author

  • Lloyd Gedye is a journalist at the Mail & Guardian who tends to focus on business matters and music in that order. When he wasn't allowed to include his music blog [www.isolation.tv] in Thought Leader, he decided he'll just have to start writing about sport.

5 Comments

  1. Daniel Mathebula, Jhb Daniel Mathebula, Jhb 7 September 2007

    life is never fair.
    same thing happens
    here where the gov
    is underspending in
    delivering essential
    services while they
    secure ludacrous amounts
    via their extendend family
    members in the name of
    bee.
    zim will capitalize,
    so will botswana,
    mozambique,swaziland,
    lesoth maybe
    namibia on FIFA’s worldcup,
    after all it’s FIFA’s
    soccer worldcup we
    just the host; could’ve
    been england/brazil, so
    lets share the millions
    we never know what these
    millions could end doing
    for the people of zim.

  2. batatoughies batatoughies 8 September 2007

    folks should get their facts together before mouthing off with the crowd about zimbabwe. if zim has an economic crisis, we all know why that’s the case. if mugabe is a dictator, then what does that make brown-nose and bush? please, why not use the opportunity you have here to educate people instead of follwo the crowd like one of the sheep.

  3. Lloyd Lloyd 10 September 2007

    Ha Ha Ha Ha, Am I meant to take that comment seriously!

  4. Lindiwe Mpofu Lindiwe Mpofu 5 October 2007

    yes zimbabwe is in need of food and other scarce commodities. however, in a somewhat idealist state of mind, the World Cup will help them in gaining foreign currency that is so highly demanded, as long as it is used well(fingers-crossed). the amount going into the country to cater for the World Cup could be reduced but i think more could be gained so as to help the country than if they turned a blind eye to being part of the World Cup.

  5. Amanda Amanda 9 October 2007

    The fact that Zimbabwe is prepared to invest $20 million on hotels, whilst the crisis is deepening every day should be outrageous on everyone standards. Have we forgotten what is going on there?
    And a little slap on the wrist every now and then from the West is hardly motivation for a change in the regime.

    I think that it’s disgusting, especially for other countries that simply chose to isolate themselves from the situation; I find it hard to understand why they are prepared to reward Mugabe with the privilege of sharing the pride that comes with hosting the world cup. May I remind you that millions of Zimbabweans are suffering from malnutrition and that Mugabe has clearly blamed the West/ his soon to be guests for sabotaging the situation. But wait, better yet why don’t we give all this money to Mugabe since we love to watch his appalling handling of the economy.

    If anything I do hope that from it Zim will gain more exposure and perhaps more testimonies of what it really looks like, and perhaps the world will keep a close eye on Mugabe after the world cup… lets hope.

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