Rising star in tourism
Unlike his Zanu-PF colleague Saviour Kasukuwere, Walter Mzembi, the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality, is a darling of Western countries, foreign investors and businesspeople as he trots across the globe seeking to restore confidence in Zimbabwe's tourism sector.
On the other hand, Kasukuwere, the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment, has done the exact opposite to Mzembi and is the embodiment of plans to seize foreign-owned companies under the country's 51% indigenisation law.
Divisions are common between Zanu-PF ministers and their MDC counterparts, but are unusual among Zanu-PF-linked ministers.
Economist Eric Bloch said: "Those are the internal contradictions of this government. There is no policy cohesion because some policies like indigenisation are being pursued for political expediency rather than long-term inclusive economic growth.
"While Mzembi is trying to lure investors into the tourism industry, Kasukuwere is threatening the same potential investors with expropriation of their capital. This is also the same dilemma that Minister Tapiwa Mashakada finds himself in as he tries to promote foreign and domestic investment."
But so far, Mzembi appears to have weathered the storm caused by indigenisation. He fired a salvo at his Zanu-PF colleagues last year after they invaded a bird sanctuary under the excuse of indigenisation, telling them to back off, as the tourism sector was sufficiently indigenised.
The main players in the tourism sector are the Rainbow Tourism Group, where government is the majority stakeholder, and African Sun, which is largely owned by the country's emerging black elites.
Mzembi has a knack for speaking candidly against elements that make his job mored ifficult - among them the failed airline, Air Zimbabwe. He has called for its privatisation to ensure consistent service.
However, he has not lost his lighter side, and at President Robert Mugabe's 88th birthday celebrations, he said it would be easier to convince tourists to visit Zimbabwe as they would want to see Mugabe whom he called a "tourist attraction".
Under Mzembi's three-year-old watch, Zimbabwe's tourism is slowly turning around after a decade-long battering induced by the country's economic decline. Mzembi this week celebrated the latest figures from the World Travel and Tourism Council, which confirmed Zimbabwe's newly found return to glory.
"Zimbabwe is now the second fastest-growing tourism industry in the world, second only to China. It is a favourable rating by any standard but we have to work hard to maintain those figures as the test of the pudding is in the eating," said Mzembi.
Tourism is set to contribute an average 8.2% to the country's gross domestic product over the next 10 years. It slumped to less than 5% under the economic collapse.
Meanwhile, Mzembi was elected president of the African Travel Association for a two-year period at the association's recently ended Victoria Falls conference last week.
Tourism industry players say the post is an acknowledgement of Mzembi's contribution to tourism, not only in Zimbabwe but also on the African continent.
The icing on the cake, however, is set to come next year when Zimbabwe co-hosts with Zambia the United Nations World Tourism Summit in Victoria Falls and Livingstone. This is certain to be Mzembi's career highlight.
But political observers caution that elections could undo Mzembi's efforts.
Political analyst Charles Mangongera said: "Mzembi has managed to project a political persona of a pragmatic realist that is not fundamentally partisan. Sometimes he has contradicted party positions, particularly on indigenisation, and I believe this might have ruffled some feathers within his Zanu-PF party. It will be interesting to see how he will emerge after the next elections, which indeed will be the biggest test of his political career".