Investors evicted from hotel parking by armed police.

hotel_roomHarare - local and foreign investors attending the Pan African Tourism Investment conference on Investment Opportunities in Tourism in Harare were on Monday night refused entry into the hotel parking area by armed police keeping the vast secure parking space for, Vice President John Nkomo.

Journalists were also denied entry to cover the event by the conference organizers. The Vice President was the guest at the opening ceremony last night at Crown Plaza hotel in Harare. Visitors had to look for alternative parking space around town where they paid for parking space and come on foot to attend the function, after armed police cleared the whole hotel parking space for Nkomo. This was not expected at an important event which, according to ZTA, was attended by more than 600 local and foreigners who had come to find business opportunities.

Visitors were heard arguing with the police. How can you (police) spare the entire parking space for one person at the expense of all the delegates whom the country has invited? Who is the owner of this conference, us visitors or the Vice President? Where do you want us to park our cars and are you aware that there are visitors who do not know this country, asked angry delegates who had no choice but to comply.

Harare has record of dangerous car hijackers and the move by the police, to refuse delegates guarded hotel parking space exposed foreigners to a great security risk and further tarnishes the countrys battered image. Journalists who had come to cover the event were refused entry by officials from a company called Ai africainvestor, because they were not accredited. A ZTA official said they were not in-charge of the conference before ordering the affected journalists to visit their (ZTA) offices in the capital on Tuesday.

If you have been denied entry to cover the night event please come and register tomorrow because we are equally powerless at the moment, said the official who requested anonymity saying that she was not allowed to talk to the media. Efforts by this publication to get an official comment from Tourism and Hospitality Minister Walter Mzembi were fruitless as his mobile phone was not reachable.


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