Walter Mzembi
Walter Mzembi
Walter Mzembi
Born (1964-03-16) March 16, 1964 (age 58)
  • Cabinet Minister
  • Member of Parliament
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs
Years active2000-present
Known forBeing a Cabinet Minister
Notable workOrganised the UNWTO Conference in 2014
Home townMasvingo
Political partyPeople's Party
Spouse(s)Barbara M Perez Hernandez

Walter Mzembi is a Zimbabwean politician and a former member of [Zanu-PF]]. He is also the former Minister of Foreign Affairs. He is the current president of People's Party which was formed in November 2019.

Mzembi previously had served as the Minister of Tourism. He replaced Simbarashe Mumbengegwi as the Minister of Foreign Affairs effective, 9 October 2017, following a cabinet reshuffle which was speculated to be a stern measure to rid Zanu-PF of factional fights. He was also a member of parliament for Masvingo South Constituency. Mzembi played a role in lobbying and organizing the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) conference, co-hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia in August 2013. He was expelled from the party in November 2017, following an operation code-named Operation Restore Legacy by the military. In January 2018 he was investigated and arrested by Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) for abuse of office and corruption whilst he was minister.

He was expelled from parliament in terms of Section 129 (1) (k) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe after ZANU-PF informed the National Assembly that they he was no longer a member of the party. [1]

Personal Details

Born: 16 March 1964 in Masvingo Province.
Marriage: to Barbara M Perez Hernandez, who comes from San Jose, Cuba. The couple have 6 children together. [2]

School / Education

Primary: He did his Primary and Secondary Education in Masvingo.
Tertiary: 1987 he obtained a Technologist Diploma in Mechanical Engineering in Lusaka, Zambia.

Service / Career

He showed an interest in Youth and Social Affairs in Zanu-PF. In 2004, Mzembi was elected the first runner-up winner of the Zimbabwe Communicator of the Year Award of the British American Tobacco and Zimbabwe Institute of Public Relations prestigious awards. In the past the prestigious awards had been won by people like Robert Mugabe, the late Vice Presidents Joshua Nkomo and Simon Muzenda, and former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, among others. Mzembi won this award on the basis of his advocacy work in Agribusiness. He was elected to the House of Assembly in 2004 where he held the position of Portfolio Committee Chairperson for Agriculture, Lands and Resettlement. He was subsequently appointed Head of the Zimbabwe Delegation to the ACP/ EO Joint Parliamentary Assembly in Europe. [3]

Following the death of Edson Zvobgo on 22 August 2004, a by election was held 9 October 2004. The result, Masvingo South returned to Parliament:

  • Walter Mzembi of Zanu PF. Declared elected unopposed.

A candidate from Zimbabwe Youth in Alliance had submitted nomination papers which were technically deficient.

In the 2013 Elections, (see A History of Zimbabwean Elections) Masvingo South returned to Parliament:

Total n/a votes

Positions Held

He has held various positions in both the Public and Private Sectors in Zimbabwe. He was elected to the Provincial Youth Executive of the ruling party Zanu PF. Some of these include Inspector of Mines in Zimbabwe's Ministry of Mines, Sales Engineer, General Manager, Marketing Director and Chief Executive Officer in various private companies. In 2007 he was appointed Deputy Minister of Water Resources and Management. In February 2009, he was appointed to the position of Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry in the Inclusive Government, when Zanu PF, Movement for Democratic Change led by Tsvangirai (MDC-T) and Movement for Democratic Change led by Arthur Mutambara (MDC-M) formed Government of National Unity (GNU). He is also the Member of House of Assembly for Masvingo South. In a cabinet reshuffle in October 2017, Mzembi was appointed as the Minister of Foreign Affairs.


Walter Mzembi was reported to have successfully lobbied for Zimbabwe to co-host the UNWTO together with Zambia in August 2013. This all worked to the advantage of Zimbabwe as it was put in a good light after years of negative media coverage. In turn, there was also a steady influx of tourists visiting Zimbabwe as it was portrayed as safe destination. [4] After the successful hosting of the UNWTO in Victoria Falls Mzembi was singled out by President Mugabe as his best minister and the leader bragged about how much Mzembi had put Zimbabwe on the international map.


Save Valley Conservency

On 6 September 2014 - Zanu PF Save Valley ‘looters’ named

Senior Zanu PF officials and securocrats who were given concessions in the famed Save Valley Conservancy, in a move that has divided the party and invited fresh threats of sanctions against the country, have been exposed.

Walter Mzembi said handing out parts of conservancies to party activists was threatening the hosting of United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly, for 2015, in Victoria Falls. According to documents with Newsday, those named:


among others.
Chiredzi South MP Ailess Baloyi claimed he had been elected the new Save Valley Conservancy chairman. [5]

Arrest and Acquittal, UNWTO and vehicles

In January 2018, Mzembi was arrested on allegations of corruption and criminal abuse of office based on events that occurred when he was still the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry. Former Ministers Walter Mzembi Arrested A few weeks later Mzembi was being investigated by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) for allegedly abusing funds donated by Mbada Diamonds when Zimbabwe co-hosted the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) with Zambia in 2013. Mzembi was being investigated for abusing at least US$1.5 million from the US$5 million IDBZ infrastructure facility in 2013. Mzembi allegedly bought several cars with part of the money he received. Walter Mzembi Faces Arrest, Again, For Abusing Millions From IDBZ, Mbada Diamonds

On 1 June 2021, Mzembi was acquitted of corruption allegations by a High Court judge.

Mzembi was charged together with former tourism secretary Magret Mukahanana Sangarwe, Sussana Makome Kuhudzayi, Aaron Dzingira Mushoriwa and Grey Hama.

They were accused of converting to their own use four Ford Ranger vehicles bought for use in the planning and during the United Nations World Tourism Organisation conference hosted by Zimbabwe in 2013.

Prosecutor General Kumbirai Hodzi filed a High Court application seeking the forfeiture of the vehicles which he said should have been handed over to the tourism ministry at the end of the UNWTO conference.

However, Justice David Mangota ruled that the Prosecutor General had no reasonable interest in the vehicles.

The judge said the vehicles were “never the property of government” and were in fact owned by a trust which had a mandate to remain in existence long after the UNWTO event passed.

Before pursuing forfeiture proceedings, the Prosecutor General had dropped criminal charges against Mzembi, Sangarwe, Sussana Makome Kuhudzayi, Aaron Dzingira Mushoriwa and Grey Hama.[6]

Following his acquittal, Mzembi said he would not return to Zimbabwe. Mzembi said he went into exile on health and political grounds and as long the same political environment continued to exist he would not be returning to Zimbabwe.[7]


  1. [1], Zanu-PF Expels 11 More MPs From Parliament, Published: 19 January 2018, Retrieved: 19 January 2018
  2. Hola Its Senora-Barbara Mzembi
  3. Walter Mzembi - Tourism Minister
  4. Herbert Mpofu, Tangible benefits accrued from UNWTO — Mzembi
  5. Zanu PF Save Valley ‘looters’ named, Nehanda Radio, Published: 6 September 2014, Retrieved: 31 December 2021
  6. Mzembi’s hands ‘white as snow’, judge says as ex-minister cleared of graft, ZimLive, Published: June 1, 2021, Retrieved: June 3, 2021
  7. Fani Mapfumo, Court acquittal won’t make me comeback home: Mzembi, Zim Morning Post, Published: June 1, 2021, Retrieved: June 1, 2021