FORMER Tourism and now Foreign Affairs Minister Walter Mzembi has made astounding claims he lost his bid to become United Nations World Tourism Authority (UNWTO) secretary general May this year through rigging.
He was speaking in Parliament Wednesday while responding to a question by MDC-T MP Zvidzai who asked if the newly appointed foreign affairs minister would consider inviting international observers for Zimbabwe’s 2018 general elections.
Zvidzai also asked what plans government was putting in place to ensure political rivals in the country do not brutalise each other during the much anticipated election period.
The Harare Central legislator also made reference to a UNWTO conference held 2015 in Victoria Falls which went on to support Mzembi’s bid to head the organisation’s secretariat.
But Mzembi said there was nothing too holy about the countries as they were not practising what they were preaching.
“I would want to inform honourable Zvidzai that I am a person who can give you my personal experience that I am a victim of a stolen election.
“The same organisation that you would want to come and observe the elections stole an election from me,” Mzembi said without providing any evidence.
Once described as the best minister by President Robert Mugabe, Mzembi won continental support to contest the lofty position in elections which were held in Spain.
In the elections held in Madrid, the Spanish capital, Mzembi polled 15 votes against 18 votes garnered by Zurab Pololikashvilli of Georgia in the second round of voting.
This was after the first round failed to secure a clear winner although the charismatic Zimbabwean politician had initially come first with 11 votes followed by the Georgian who had 8 with the other 14 votes shared among three other challengers.
In his response in parliament, Mzembi also said there was nothing extra-ordinary foreign observers could teach Zimbabweans on running elections.
He insisted Zimbabwe was in fact better placed to lecture other countries of how to run credible polls.
“…In Zimbabwe, we gave them (UNWTO) a lecture on democracy on how elections are run. They agreed that we are capable of running elections.
“Inside this august House we have experts who can run these elections. That is why we came up with a very good Constitution and 98% of the Zimbabwean people agreed that we should deal with our own issues and we will be able to go further,” Mzembi said.
Zimbabwe has had successive polls which have been disputed with the incumbent President accused of manipulating poll systems to tilt the vote in his favour.
Mzembi, during campaigns for the UN agency top job, had the unenviable burden of trying to spruce up the Zanu PF led regime’s battered image internationally.