Political observers have warned holding of general elections ahead of United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly will negatively impact on the hosting of the event due to the country’s culture of violence during polls.
Zimbabwe is set to go for harmonised polls in March next year and the UNWTO is scheduled for August the same year and is co-hosting the event with Zambia.
An analyst and National University of Science and Technology lecturer Lawton Hikwa told Radio Dialogue that political uncertainty will affect preparations and attendance by foreign delegates.
“I do not foresee elections being held possibly in March. If at all, elections can be later in the coming year (2014),” said Hikwa “… any country that has got a reputation of violence whenever there is a political event, would sort of tend to scare away any potential visitor to it.”
He said parties in the inclusive should agree on a suitable date after the conference. Civic society activist Dumisani Nkomo sailed in the same boat that early polls will fuel political uncertainty and affect the world tourism conference. He also urged political parties to refrain from violence in case elections are held in March.
“If elections are held in March there is a positive and a negative, the positive is that since the world tourism summit will be in Zimbabwe and Zambia, it will make it very difficult for Zanu-PF, army and the police to engage in violence because the whole world would be in Zimbabwe” said Nkomo.
He however, insisted that chances of political violence are high due to the lack of necessary security sector reforms set out as some of requirements for elections in the election roadmap.