TOURISM and Hospitality Industry minister Walter Mzembi’s hopes to become Africa’s first United Nations World Tourism Organisation secretary-general have gone up in smoke after he was narrowly defeated by Georgian candidate Zurab Pololikashvili.
Comment: NewsDay Editor
Tough luck for the Zanu PF politician many accused of harbouring great ambition to take over the country’s reins someday.
Mzembi had a message for change during his worldwide campaign for the coveted post. We have no doubt that he must now come back home and do some work for change. The tourism industry is half dead and yearning for a complete overhaul.
It appears everything had come to a standstill as State institutions primarily which deal with tourism development went all out campaigning for Mzembi.
Well, he did not go down without a fight. Losing 18 against his 15 is close enough to show he had done his work well although he, during the campaigns, made unnecessary gaffes in his bid to extol his Zanu PF party. We warned him against complacency and, of course, unnecessary political statements in support of the rights abuses by the regime, didn’t we?
Mzembi’s defeat should be a lesson to President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF leadership.
Mzembi was a favourite no doubt, but the world wanted to send a message — that they would not support anyone fronted by despots no matter how good they may be.
The fact that Seychelles broke ranks and supported their candidate despite a resolution by the African Union shows that Mzembi was not the unanimous candidate. That alone suggests Mzembi was foisted on the AU by Mugabe when his term to become chairperson came.
Therefore, Mzembi has become the latest victim of world politics. The message is clear — if indeed you want to change things, why don’t you start within your country?
We have no doubt that Mzembi is all the more wiser, and so he should work hard at transforming the tourism industry and deal with the sticking issues retarding tourism growth.
We have no doubt that this election tested the resolve of African countries towards attaining a common vision.
Clearly, not all the countries voted for Mzembi considering the differences that had emerged over Seychelles’ Allain St Ange’s candidature.
We supported Mzembi not because he was a better candidate, but we have a duty to support our own first.
We were, however, fearful if Mzembi was going to be impartial in his dealings with all Zimbabweans regardless of their political affiliation.
The Zanu PF Masvingo South MP should now know that dictators will not go unpunished, and somehow those countries calling for the rule of law hit back when it mattered most.
We welcome you back, Cde Mzembi, and let’s face the economic malaise together, regroup and plan how to get out it.
Obviously it serves right to the other Cabinet members who feared Mzembi could become even more powerful than them.
Mzembi’s campaign for change, and so the call for Zimbabweans to change the current leadership is legitimate after all. Why does Zanu PF torment the opposition then?