HomeLocal NewsMDC-T backs Mzembi, slams govt

MDC-T backs Mzembi, slams govt

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MDC-T shadow Finance minister Tapiwa Mashakada has lashed out at President Robert Mugabe’s government for neglecting Africa’s nominee for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) secretary-general position.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

Tourism minister Walter Mzembi has been forwarded as the country’s nominee for the prestigious position and now boasts of support from the African Union (AU), but Mashakada this week lashed out at the government for doing nothing to aid his campaign so far.

“Mzembi is the most qualified candidate for the post of UNWTO secretary-general, but I don’t think he is getting the necessary support back home. He is the AU candidate, but there is a conspiracy of silence by the local media.
Mzembi is only the flag bearer, the post is for Zimbabwe,” Mashakada, who served as Economic Planning minister in the Government of National Unity between 2009 and 2013, said.

He said the government had shown lack of seriousness regarding Mzembi’s candidature, as well as other candidates seconded to international organisations.

“Resources equal results. While the President is on leave, one of his deputies must be gallivanting across the globe drumming up support for the Zimbabwean candidate. Ironically, his (Mzembi’s) ministry was given about $3 million in the National Budget,” the MDC-T national executive member said, adding Mugabe’s international jaunts had not brought any benefit for the country.

“This is too little to mount a formidable international campaign. In fact, the $3m must be for his (Mzembi’s) campaign. There are other nugatory travel expenditures, which are made by government officials, including the Head of State, which do not bring anything meaningful back home.

In 2015, Chief (Fortune) Charumbira lost the Presidency of the Pan-African Parliament because the government did not support him with enough resources.”

Mashakada said he was worried that, while the government seemed to be showing a lacklustre approach, “the other disturbing thing is the fact of the Seychelles also fielding a candidate against the AU consensus”.

He said the Indian Ocean island’s move was confirmation of Zimbabwe’s international pariah status.

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