Zimbabwe Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi said on Monday that the country is ready to host North Korea’s national soccer team, which will train in Zimbabwe for the World Cup starting in South Africa in June.
Human rights activists have threatened to disrupt the team’s practices, especially in Bulawayo, Matabeleland's capital, where North Korean-trained Zimbabwean troops are alleged to have carried out massacres during the so-called Gukurahundi conflict of the 1980s.
That conflict pitted forces of now-President Robert Mugabe's ZANU party against the those of the ZAPU formation of liberation rival Joshua Nkomo. The main victims were Nkomo loyalists in the region, which was mainly inhabited by the Matabele ethnic group.
Mzembi tells VOA Studio7 reporter Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye that such threats will not deter the government from hosting the North Korean team.
He said the visit would boost Zimbabwe economically while also positioning the Southern African country as a world class tourist and sporting destination.