ZIMBABWE is set to resume domestic flights soon as the country re-opens its tourism sector after five months of sectorial shutdown.
Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndhlovu told a news conference this afternoon that all tourism players were to resume full operations as announced by Cabinet on Tuesday.
He however cautioned that they are to comply with the World Health Organisation COVID-19 regulations.
“Domestic flights have been approved and the Transport ministry is anticipated to announce resumption dates. International flights remain suspended and the Government is looking at suitable modalities for resumption with adherence to WHO COVID-19 regulations,” he said from his Harare offices.
Meanwhile, the cabinet minister said he was unable to issue a statement regarding reports around alleged coal mining in the Hwange National Park. He said his ministry and other relevant ministries were still investigating, with a public announcement expected soon.
“With regards to coal mining in Hwange National Park, our ministry and other relevant ministries are investigating. It is an issue we have been working on for some time. Investigations started after the H.E (President Mnangagwa)’s visit there.
“Zimbabwe is not too keen on disturbing a National Park, we want to maintain the pristine nature there. A public announcement will be made in due course,” said the minister.
The former Industry minister also gave an update on the Pandamasuwe elephants. He said 22 elephants had died so far, with the greater percentage being young elephants.
According to the minister, studies are being done and the private laboratory handling the issue has ruled out anthrax as a cause of death.
The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) has already ruled out poaching and cyanide poisoning for the death of elephants in Pandamasuwe Forest in western Zimbabwe, between the largest wildlife sanctuary Hwange National Park and Victoria Falls.