“Our position is that North Korea is not welcome in Zimbabwe," says Methuseli Moyo, spokesman for the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) party, which has threatened widespread protests timed to the team's arrival. "We are wondering why the people in the Government of National Unity are being [so] insensitive as to bring the same people who caused bloodshed and deaths to our region. They are just looking at the monetary values of this visit, but the fact of the matter is that it will reopen old wounds. There is nothing special about the North Koreans except that they are warmongers and nuclear power specialists.
“If they come here, thousands of ZAPU supporters will express themselves in any way they deem fit, even through violence," says Mr. Moyo. "For now, we will not disclose what course of action we will take, but they are not welcome.”
The North Koreans will stay two weeks until June 6, when they will move to their main World Cup base in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Mr. Muzembi, who estimates that the team’s visit and the presence of World Cup-bound tourists could bring in $100 million, defended the North Korean team's stay.
“Sport is different from politics," says Muzembi. "It is unfortunate that people mix these things. I wouldn't want to make this a political issue. It’s purely a sports issue.”