VICE President Inonge Wina has challenged Livingstone residents to take advantage of increased conferences and meetings in Zambia’s tourist capital by hosting tourists in their homes and townships to enable visitors explore real authentic Zambian dishes and culture among others at a fee.
Ms Wina has also urged women to apply for funding from the Citizens Economic Empowerment (CEEC) and set up guest houses townships as part of tourism circuits.
She said there was need for Livingstone residents to be innovative and ensure that tourists start visiting townships away from the town centre such as Linda, Libuyu, Dambwa and Maramba to sample real authentic Zambian dishes and culture.
She was speaking in Livingstone at Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport yesterday upon her arrival ahead of today’s official opening for the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Ministers of Justice and Experts Meeting on Legal Harmonisation of the ICGLR Protocols.
Ms Wina, whose Zambia Airforce (ZAF) plane touched down around 14:56 hours, was received by Southern Province Minister Nathaniel Mubukwanu, provincial permanent secretary Sibanze Simuchoba, Ministry of Justice Permanent Secretary Josephs Akafumba, Livingstone Mayor Milford Maambo, some District Commissioners in Southern Province, defence and security chiefs, senior Government officials and Patriotic Front (PF) supporters.
“As I come here in Livingstone, I want to remind you the people of Livingstone that Government is busy encouraging institutions, organisations and business executives to come to Livingstone for their meetings and conferences.
“That is why you see us here every so often. Here comes an opportunity for you people of Livingstone. Tourism in Livingstone does not only mean visiting Victoria Falls, or Museum. We want to see tourists coming to Linda, Libuyu, Dambwa and Maramba to visit you,” Ms Wina said.
She noted that some tourists and other visitors wanted to understand how a Zambian lives as well as to sample real authentic Zambian dishes as they could not find such things in hotels and lodges.
“Open your homes to visitors for a fee and this is what is known as cultural tourism or artistic tourism.
“South Africa is a model for this. When tourists come to Johannesburg, they cannot go away without visiting Soweto township because that is where they meet as South Africans. Let’s make it a point also that tourists should not go back without visiting Dambwa or Linda so that they have something to talk about at home,” Ms Wina said.
She said the Government looked upon the local government and provincial administration to encourage local people to open up their homes to tourism.
On the recent appointment of Sinazongwe Member of Parliament Rich well Siamunene as Defence Minister, Ms Wina said the appointment demonstrated the One Zambia One Nation slogan.
“The appointments in Cabinet and other higher Government offices by His Excellence the President of the Republic of Zambia Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu is clearly a demonstration of a one Zambia One Nation.
“Further, the appointment of Mr Siamunene is an expression of what it means to be be practical about unity and peace in our country,” she said.
Ms Wina said all Zambians needed to share the same cake and that God placed the people of Southern Province in the Southern region for purpose.
“God did not make a mistake to put the Southerners here. He knew that we needed to co-exist and live together to promote development in the country,” Ms Wina said.
Speaking earlier at the airport, Mr Mubukwanu said the province was peaceful since the last time she visited the area as Government programmes were running smoothly.
Mr Mubukwanu said the appointment of Sinazongwe Member of Parliament Richwell Siamunene had elated the people of Southern Province.
He said the local people in the province appreciated President Edgar Lungu as an inclusive leader following the appointment of Mr Siamunene.
“We appreciate the move by the President which clearly demonstrates his desire to be an inclusive leader who brings all regions together regardless of the outcome of the January 2015 presidential by-election.
“The President wants every region of the country to participate in the governance of the country at the highest level,” he said.