THE National Democratic Congress (NDC) has asked the office of the United Nations secretary general to vet Janet Rogan, its representative in Zambia, saying “her conduct and behavior is highly inimical to the country’s interests”.
Rogan has allegedly ‘sat’ on the conflict structure vulnerability report for the 2016 general elections.
The report concluded in November 2017, but which the UN country office in Zambia has kept away from the general public, indicates that political leaders used party cadres to cause violence during party conventions or during political rallies.
And reports have revealed that Rogan, while serving in Israel as the British Consul General in Tel Aviv, was made to strip during security clearance at the Prime Minister’s office despite her holding a diplomatic pass, making her cry in the process.
NDC secretary general Mwenya Musenge said Rogan’s conduct in Zambia was confirmation of suspicions that led to her physical search in Israel.
“Ms. Rogan, a career British diplomat and M 16 spy had problems in 2007 when she served in Israel. She had problems with the authorities there and at one point a thorough body check was conducted on her when she and her colleagues visited the office of the Prime Minister in Tel Aviv,” Musenge stated of an incident reported by The Guardian.
Rory McCarthy reported that Israeli foreign ministry apologised over the incident.
Rogan was with a delegation of British Treasury officials, led by Ed Balls, the economic secretary to the Treasury, at the time.
They arrived at the Jerusalem office of the Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, ahead of a meeting with his chief of staff and his political adviser.
The names of the visitors had been given in advance but security guards ordered Rogan to undergo a physical search, the Guardian reported.
Rogan, however, refused and presented her diplomatic identity card.
However, she was then made to step behind a partition and to undergo a physical search, which included removing her blouse.
The Yedioth described the search as a “prolonged, needless and humiliating process” and said the diplomat was visibly upset.
Later, after Rogan made a written complaint, the prime minister’s office investigated the incident and an Israeli foreign ministry official met her to apologise, according to the paper.
Rogan worked at the embassy in Tel Aviv for a year and a half at the time after previous postings in Iraq, Sarajevo and Beijing.
A spokesman for the Israeli prime minister’s office told the Yedioth:
“Given reservations about the manner in which treatment was extended in this case, an investigative team was appointed. In light of the team’s findings, the procedures were updated and lessons were learned, and an apology was issued for any emotional pain that was caused by the affair.”
Zehavit Ben-Hillel, a spokeswoman for the Israeli foreign ministry, told the Guardian: “The issue was checked and we are in touch with the British embassy to the satisfaction of both sides.”
A British embassy spokeswoman confirmed that the incident took place. “She was subjected to an intrusive security check and the British embassy took up the issue with the prime minister’s office who have since apologised and told us they have instituted procedures to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” said the spokeswoman.
Meanwhile, ynetnews.com also reported that Rogan is one of the top diplomats in Israel, but that did not factor into the considerations of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s security detail.
The security guards demanded Rogan go through a physical security check, to which she refused, presenting her diplomatic credentials.
An exchange of harsh words developed and Rogan was ultimately taken behind a screen and physically searched, having to lift up her shirt, according to ynetnews.com.
Rogan stated in her complaint that the other members of the delegation were shocked at what had transpired and that by the end of the process she was upset and had begun crying.
The incident was brought to the attention of the prime minister, who was outraged and demanded an internal inquiry.
The Prime Minister’s Office said in response to the incident, “As a matter of routine protocol ambassadors and their deputies enter the prime minister’s office after a limited security check.”
But Musenge stated that the embarrassing body search on Rogan was against diplomatic procedure but it had to be carried out on her because the spy agency, Mossad, could not trust her.
“This is the history of this British spy agent serving in Zambia and holding the highest UN office,” Musenge stated.
“As NDC, we are appealing to the office of the United Nations UN secretary General to vet Ms. Rogan as her conduct and behavior is highly inimical. Ms. Rogan seems to know something very suspicious about the 2016 general elections,”
He also asked Rogan to apologise to the people of Zambia for playing politics when she is supposed to show impartiality as a top diplomat.
And on the report on the 2016 elections, Musenge stated that the conspicuous silence and failure by the United Nations Development Programme in Zambia to publish the report was highly suspicious.
He stated that his party had closely been monitoring debate on the issue and followed matters being espoused by the opposition with concentration and interest.
Musenge stated that his party had every reason to doubt the standing of the United Nations UN country office in Zambia.
“The UN country Chief Janet Rogan is at the centre of this whole fiasco. We are told Ms. Rogan has refused to make this document public due to conflict of interest. We are further told that Ms Rogan has a soft spot for the PF,”
She stated that his party felt that the conflict structure vulnerability report would assist in healing the country.
“It will bring out defects in Zambia’s electoral process and help political parties and other interest groups to find ways of ensuring that the 2021 polls are held in a more fair and conducive manner,” stated Musenge.
“We find it very unfair that the Head of the UN in Zambia has allegedly aligned herself, going by published evidence, to the ruling PF. The UN is a credible international body. Therefore, the perceived political bias by the body or its agents in Zambia will erode the agency’s credibility.”