An Italian tourist who says was swindled by a local tour operator has written to president Rupiah Banda to seek help in recovering his money.
In his letter to President Banda, Roberto Tartaglia, has expressed disappointment at the refusal by the ministry of tourism and its agencies to help him retrive his money from one Clifford Zulu.
Tartaglia has threated to mount a negative campaign on the operations of the torusim industry in Zambia.
Below is a copy of his letter to president Banda:
To Honorable President of the Republic of Zambia,
Mr. Rupiah Banda,
Cassano Maganago (VA).- Italy, 09 February, 2010
Good afternoon Honorable Mr President Rupiah Banda,
I write from Italy to inform you of my disappointment on the part of the [in]competent authorities of tourism (Ministry of Tourism, Tourism Office, Zambian Embassy in Rome).
I did not want to bother You but You are still the only influential Person that I can explain my big problem which I had with a local tour operator, THE ZAMBIA TRAVELCENTRE of Lusaka, [owned by] Mr Clifford Zulu.
I had found their address on the official website of the Zambian Tourist Office. I had contacted the relevant authorities for information on TO, but I have never had answers. I have a contract with Mr. Zulu in March 2009 for my holiday in October 2009, I made two deposits in their bank account for a total of US$ 6458.00, but when it was time for my trip, Mr. Zulu disappeared with the money.
From August 2009 I have few clear answers from the Ministry of Tourism, Zambia Embassy in Rome, Tourist office in Lusaka. So I spent several months trying to get the answers alone, since in all that time I had no assistance from your Country.
I contacted the Ministry of Tourism (Ms. Mwinga Clarissa Chiluwe, Ms Austin Sichinga, Milner Makuni), the Embassy in Rome (Mr Trevor Sichombo) and the Office of ZambiaTourism (Ms Doris Kofi), Ms Margaret M Makungo Zambia Tourism Board , Washington DC. USA.
All of them are aware of my case, even if no authority has actually committed to solve my case and another case of my countryman, who was also cheated by Mr. Zulu.
I contacted my friends already journalists covering travel and, of course, disgusted with the bad behavior of the authorities of Zambia and our Italian Embassy in Lusaka, would be ready to write articles to put in a bad light on the behavior of the authorities who do not assistance in dealing with this problem.
This month in Milan, will be the BIT, the International Tourism Exchange. Would be very easy for us to issue a press release with the related problems of tourism in Zambia and the lack of assistance to foreign tourists.
May I also tell you that I am mounting in the Italian press and the internet a negative campaign for the promotion of tourism in Zambia, where I will point out your lack of seriousness, professionalism and inability to solve the problems associated with tourism. In my negative campaign, I will denounce the fact that the Office of Zambia tourism protects rogue tour operators and allow them to use their official website.
I think that with US$ 6500 which I have invested in Zambia and my vacation ruined I can make you a good publicity!!
I will keep you informed of my novelty promotion of tourism.
Sincerely, Mr Roberto Tartaglia
Mr Roberto Tartaglia
Via Vecchia Villa, 7
21012 Cassano Magnago (VA) – Italy
Cell 0039 3384813254 ; Skype: rotarta