NewsSouthern AfricaBroke Zimbabwe finds economic saviour


Posted on Wednesday, 27 February 2013 16:01

Broke Zimbabwe finds economic saviour

His Royal Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr al Qassimi, ruler of Ras Al Khaimah is in Zimbabwe to explore business opportunitiesBroke Zimbabwe has turned its eyes to the oil rich United Arab Emirates, as it seeks money for various economic activities.

With the country's finance minister revealing that the southern African nation only had $217 in its coffers after paying public servants last January, Zimbabwe is looking just about to anyone to bankroll its economy.

Enter His Royal Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr al Qassimi, ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, unknown to most Zimbabweans, he is being feted by the state and touted as the next Messiah.

We have come here to extend our hand to all of you people of Zimbabwe… We have come here not to teach you

The Sheikh is in the country to "explore business opportunities" and now everyone is bowing to him in the hope he can throw a few petro-dollars their way.

First in line was the tourism ministry, which is desperate for money to host a United Nations World Tourism Organisation general assembly in August.

Other avenues to raise money for the summit have so far failed and Sheikh Bin Saqr al Qassimi could not have visited at a better time.

A beaming tourism minister, Walter Mzembi said the Sheikh had "expressed his country's commitment to funding some of the logistics", for the summit.

The promise included the provision of resources for the procurement of luxury vehicles.

"We had a fruitful meeting and what is exciting is their interest in the Victoria Falls.

"They have also expressed commitment to funding the logistical part of the UNWTO," Mzembi said.

"They have asked us to prepare a proposal and the deal is struck."

Sheikh al Qassimi also held a string of close door meetings with various cabinet ministers.

The Sheikh is the boss of the biggest pharmaceutical company in the northern hemisphere while the Emirates are the biggest financial hub in the Arab peninsula.

In Zimbabwe at the invitation of Vice President Joice Mujuru, al-Qasimi and his business delegation have interests in mining, agriculture, commerce, the hospitality industry, energy and construction.

Apart from tourism pledge, al Qasimi struck deals with other ministries believed to be worth more than $5 billion.

"We have come here to extend our hand to all of you people of Zimbabwe... We have come here not to teach you, but rather put to you what we have learnt. It is up to you to take what you like," al Qassimi pontificated.

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