Home » Politics » ZIMBABWE: TOURISM MINISTER CHOSEN AS AU’S CANDIDATE FOR WTO SEC-GEN POST; READY TO QUIT GOVT

Zimbabwean Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Walter Mzembi said he is ready to quit his government job for the prestigious United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) secretary general post.

The African Union recently endorsed Mzembi to run as Africa's candidate for the post of UNWTO secretary general.

Mzembi, who announced his candidature for the post in April this year, already had the backing of the SADC regional bloc.

The post, which is currently held by Jordanian Dr Taleb Rifai, falls vacant next year with elections scheduled for May 2017.

Mzembi said by showing intention to contest for the UNWTO post, he had also signaled his readiness to quit government work.

"The position is full time; anyone who succeeds in May 2017 will have to relocate to Madrid, (Spain) - the headquarters of the UNWTO.

So what it means is that I have signaled an intention to quit government and assume deployment in the international systems- arguably becoming the first Minister in that respect to actually request a consideration, a different and arguably a higher office in this instance when you are still a serving cabinet minister," he said.

He also expressed confidence that he has the right qualities for the post given his experience as Zimbabwe's Tourism Minister.

"I bring with me a lot of experience. I am the longest serving African Tourism Minister in the continent and arguably the third longest serving on the globe after our good minister for Azerbaijan and Cuba.

"I also bring lots of craft competence to the job; having acquitted myself after my deployment as Zimbabwe's Tourism minister to actually creating a ministry from scratch because it was never there," said Mzembi.

Mzembi is currently the chairman of the UNWTO Regional Commission for Africa and has also served as a member of the UNWTO Executive Council from 2009 to 2013.

He also oversaw the successful bidding and co-hosting of the 20th UNWTO General Assembly by Zimbabwe and Zambia in 2013.

The UNWTO was established as a specialized agency of the United Nations in 1974 and has a membership of 157 countries, six associate members and over 480 affiliate members representing the private sector and other

stakeholders.

Zimbabwe joined the organisation in 1982.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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