ZIMBABWE foreign affairs minister Dr Walter Mzembi says he is very touched that a country he carried the cross for in tourism development now seeks to create a fugitive out of him.
In a statement sent to a tourism online news eTN publisher Juergen Steinmetz, Mzembi said Zambian tourism minister Charles Banda and United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) secretary general Taleb Rifai had called to reassure him.
“I just got a surprise solidarity call from UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai and Hon Charles Banda of Zambia. I am touched by the expression of empathy and sympathy for my wellbeing and that of my family under these difficult circumstances. It really got to the bottom of my heart that a country I carried the cross for most recently in the UNWTO elections could be seeking to create a fugitive out of me! I trust that wisdom will prevail in the name of diplomacy to amicably end this crisis to the satisfaction of all,” Mzembi stated.
And eTN president Prof Geoffrey Lipman wished Mzembi, who is currently in hiding, well.
Mzembi served as Zimbabwean tourism minister and recently contested as UNWTO secretary general before being appointed as foreign affairs minister by embattled President Robert Mugabe.
“We have known and admired Dr Mzembi for years and have watched as he has travelled the globe representing his country with skill, dignity, and pride, most recently in an honourable quest for Secretary General of UNWTO. We call on the global travel community to join us in our best wishes and support for our friend Walter and his family,” said Prof Lipman.
And Mzembi said he was touched after the founder and president of the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism, Louis D’Amore, also related his concern and wished him and his family well.