|US envoy slams international media’s portrayal of Zim|
|Monday, 21 May 2012 00:00|
Isdore Guvamombe in Victoria Falls
The US envoy, who has been at the centre of anti-Zimbabwe propaganda since his arrival three years ago, said the images peddled by global media houses such as CNN, were misleading as he found Zimbabwe to be safe.
“What you see on CNN is not true. Journalists package what they think sells. I am sorry to say this in front of the media, but I have been in the media before myself.
Addressing the 37th Annual Africa Travel Association Congress here at
the weekend, Mr Ray said when he arrived in Harare at the beginning of his term in June 2009, he was surprised to see a calm, violence-free Zimbabwe contrary to the image portrayed by the international media.
“I must testify that when I alighted from the plane at Harare International Airport the very first time I came here, I was surprised to see the opposite of what I had known. I met very good people, very happy people and Zimbabwe is very beautiful and attractive.
He urged both local and foreign media to report the truth about Zimbabwe.
Mr Ray said Zimbabwe had the potential to regain its positive image through tourism despite the negative image portrayed by global media.
“Tourism is an important tool of bringing people together, reconnection of people sharing of ideas, and more so, it is good for Zimbabwe’s economy. I have visited every area and found Zimbabwe attractive and fascinating. The wildlife is fascinating. From the rolling hills of Matopos, to Kariba, the mystique of Chimanimani and to the majestic Victoria Falls, one can enjoy Zimbabwe. You can do elephant riding if you are daring but if you are really crazy you can do Bunji jumping.
“That is Zimbabwe for you,” he said.
“The economy recently grew by seven percent, mining is growing, retail is coming up, industry and hotel occupancy is rising. Zimbabwe is really open to business.”
The United States has imposed an illegal economic sanctions regime on Zimbabwe in 2001 that cut the country’s lines of credit from multilateral institutions, and severely constrained livelihoods and the economy over the past 10 years.