Monday, 10 October 2016


Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive Karikoga Kaseke has appealed to hotels and lodges to prioritise placing condoms in rooms for the convenience of their patrons.

He said the ravaging effects of HIV/Aids — which has left an estimated 1,5 million Zimbabweans living with the infection — makes the measure a life-and-death matter which should be treated with urgency.

This comes as the tourism sector is one of the biggest drivers of HIV/Aids, yet insufficient attention continues to be afforded to the segment in so far as scaling up prevention methods.
Kaseke last week implored hotel proprietors to be conscious of the needs of their customers in a bid to combat the spread of HIV/Aids.

“There is no legislation that requires hotels to have Bibles or condoms in their rooms but many have Bibles in their rooms,” Kaseke told the Daily News. “Any responsible hotel should have those safety valves (condoms). It is not being a Christian not having these safety valves in rooms. Owners of public places have to take this seriously and mind about protecting the lives of their clients,” he said.

Health ministry permanent secretary Gerald Gwinji recently raised alarm over hotels not offering free condoms to their patrons at a stakeholders’ workshop on the ease of doing business in the tourism sector.

Gwinji said the absence of free condoms in hotels was placing many at risk of having unprotected sex.

“Imagine you are out there in the outskirts where the shops could be 20km away from the town, and should you risk going that far or you just deal with what is available at that time,” he said then.
“Tourists from overseas are the ones who are affected the most with this issue because they cannot carry condoms all the way from Europe to Africa because they expect to find them here and it is our duty to provide them with such a necessity,” he said.

Gwinji said the movement of people from one place to another can be a catalyst in the spread of the deadly scourge.

He said tourists tend to have the propensity to explore in the field of sex and they usually engage in casual sex that fuels HIV and Aids.

“As a health sector, we recommend that all tourists should stay safe while touring our country and offering them with necessities such as condoms will help to prevent them from getting infected with HIV and sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis and herpes.

“Most of our tourists come here with no partners hence they are likely to be interested in local partners whom they may want to have sex with and there is need for protected sex for both of them,” Gwinji said.

Meanwhile, Tourism deputy minister Anastacia Ndlovu emphasised the need for policy-makers, travel planners and companies to work with persons with disabilities to work together to make travel more accessible.

The remarks came as calls have been getting louder for the tourism industry to urgently provide accessible airport transfers, wheelchair-adapted vehicles and appropriately designed streets and pavements to accommodate people with disabilities. Daily News


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