Tuesday, May 29, 2012


when they announce that Robert Mugabe, and his Zambian sidekick, Michael Sata, have been appointed United  Nations international tourism ambassadors in recognition of the promotion and development of tourism in their countries.

 The UN through the United Nations World Tourism Organisation will officially confer the status to the two presidents at a function to be held in Victoria Falls this week and officiated by the UNWTO Secretary General Mr Talib Rifai. The honour comes even though the European Union and the United States have imposed travel bans on Mugabe and many of his senior government officials due to widespread human rights abuses.

Much attention has been paid to the plight of Zimbabwe’s terrorized mostly Anglo farmers whose fields were seized under President Mugabe’s ill-conceived and disastrous land appropriation program. But the abject ruination the Mugabe regime has wrought on the small landlocked country has affected all of its citizens regardless of race or tribal affiliation. Mugabe’s fight to convert white-minority-ruled Rhodesia into the modern African state of Zimbabwe was once considered a noble cause but under his despotic rule, Zimbabwe’s decline has been absolute and has effectively turned this relatively wealthy functioning model of black-white co-existence into an impoverished country that now has one of the lowest life expectancy rates and one of the worst HIV/AIDS infection rates in the world.

Some 3,500 people die per week in Zimbabwe due to HIV/AIDS alone. Tag on the random muggings, violence, and property crime in a country with an unemployment rate hovering at around 80 per cent, and what remains of Zimbabwe’s populace is very beleaguered. One of the best measurements for determining that a country has in fact hit rock bottom is the appearance of cholera. When a state can no longer separate its potable water from raw sewage, then any sense of concern for the general welfare of the citizenry by the government is non-existent.  The country once touted as the bread-basket of Africa and a showcase of interracial harmony and prosperity has become a living hell on earth.

So the question that needs to be asked of the bureaucrats enjoying the tax-free scenery from the UN’s headquarters on Turtle Bay, is how does a destroyer of nations like Mugabe become a tourism ambassador?  I just hope the tourists read the fine print when they book their next trip to Zimbabwe.  I also wonder if they know that the country has now been listed as “very high” with respect to major infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, malaria, schistosomiasis, and rabies just to name but a few?

And you wouldn't want to plan on flying Air Zimbabwe.   It's stopped functioning.

Tourism Mecca not.


Paulus said...

The UN should be canned asap.
It has caused more problems than it has ever cleared up. And what a waste of money in running it. Its own aircraft fleet and multiple other perks, all paid for my mug countries.
Does not the employment of Helen Clark and her coterie make you reconsider its use ?

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Well actually, you don't have to wonder. The answer is self evident and it is a big fat ZERO.

It is extremely difficult to find just one thing useful in the last twenty years for which the UN has been responsible.

Call in the receivers.

Anonymous said...

According to UNAID the prevalence of AIDS in Zimbabwe has dropped from a peak of 26.5 percent in 1997 to 14.3 percent in 2010, whereas neighbouring Botswana, a democracy for the last 50 or so years, currently has a prevalence of 24.8%.

Zim has a life expectancy for both women and men of just under 52 years while Botswana, which had dropped to 40 years in the early 2000's, has just managed to get up to 53 years thanks to international help not available to Zim.

Swaziland, another SADEC state, has an even a higher AIDS prevalence - 31% amongst women and 20% amongst men. Their life expectancy currently is just 48.7 years.

Crime in Zim tends to be as a result of poverty and is far less violent than that experienced in neighbouring South Africa. Cholera was as problem in 2008/2009 and, although always a threat, is not as prevalent at present.

So, as much as I despise Mugabe, one cannot blame all the ills of Zimbabwe on him, and if it had stayed with a white minority government I have no doubt at all that the people would have been happier and healthier - but then the white-ruled African countries were always better off than the black-ruled ones. TIA (this is Africa).

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

"According to UNAID the prevalence....."

Hell, next you'll be quoting the new York Times.

Anonymous said...

The comparisons are still valid as they are all UNAID figures……….and there are none other for these countries unlike South Africa where there is still enough infrastructure for them to do their counts more accurately and broken down into various catagories.

But never mind Adolf you have moved so far to the left that shooting the messenger has become second nature to you.