United Nations appoints Mugabe as ‘tourism envoy’
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe. REUTERS PhotoThe United Nations has appointed Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe as a “leader for tourism,” sparking criticism from human rights activists, the Guardian reported.
The U.N. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) endorsed Mugabe, 88, along with his political ally, Zambian President Michael Sata, 75, as international envoys for the tourism initiative. The two African leaders will also co-host the organization’s general assembly in August of 2013. Speaking in Victoria Falls, UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai endorsed Zimbabwe as a safe tourism destination, according to Zimbabwe’s state-owned newspaper The Herald.
Mugabe has been widely accused of ethnic cleansing, rigging elections, controlling the media and presiding over a collapsed economy. The development has stunned human rights campaigners and political opponents. “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?” Kumbi Muchemwa, a spokesman for the opposition said.