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UN blasted for appointing Mugabe as tourism envoy

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 - 14:47

Harare: The United Nations` appointment of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe as the leader for tourism, despite being subject to a travel ban, has been strongly criticised by his political opponents.

Kumbi Muchemwa, a spokesman for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said: "I can`t see any justification for the man being an `ambassador`."
"An ambassador for what? The man has blood on his hands. Do they want tourists to see those bloody hands?" The Telegraph quoted Muchemwa as saying.

"Robert Mugabe is under international sanctions, so how do you have an international tourism ambassador who can`t travel to other countries?," Muchemwa added.

Mugabe and his aides are subject to a EU travel ban that prevents them from travelling to EU countries.

The United Nations has appointed Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe as the leader for tourism.

Mugabe along with Michael Sata, Zambian president, signed an agreement in the no-man`s-land on Victoria Falls Bridge with UN`s World Tourism Organisation.

According to the agreement, the two countries would co-host the UNWTO General Assembly in August next year.

However, Taleb Rifai, secretary general of UNWTO, said: "By coming here, it is recognition, an endorsement on the country [Zimbabwe] that it is a safe destination."

Navi Pillay, the UN human rights chief, had last week urged Western countries to suspend sanctions against Mugabe and his close aides to give Zimbabwe a chance to implement much needed reforms.


First Published: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 - 14:47
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