BY BLESSED MHLANGA
THE main opposition MDC Alliance has accused United Nations special rapporteur Alena Douhan of acting unprofessionally during her 10-day fact-finding mission to Harare to investigate the impact of sanctions on Zimbabwe.
The opposition party yesterday told journalists that it had written to the UN for an investigation into Douhan’s unprofessional conduct and bias.
“We have written a formal compliant to New York to the UN on the conduct of Miss Douhan, her omissions and commissions and we hope that the UN will formally carry out an investigation to validate our complains,” party vice-president Tendai Biti said
“We hope that they will acknowledge our complaint. We believe that we are an important stakeholder.
“We are the biggest opposition political party in the country. If you look at her programme which was made public, it was dominated by public authorities as if she came with a mindset of doing a one-sided subjective consultation with government.”
The MDC Alliance on Wednesday complained that Douhan released a statement on her preliminary findings while she was still locked in a meeting with the opposition party, meaning their views were not captured in the report.
“We have asked the UN to verify with her who funded here trip to Zimbabwe and verify with her personal accounts the source of deposits and credits in her account in the last few weeks,” Biti said.
Douhan is accused of plagiarising her previous reports to Venezuela and Syria and pasting them on her report on Zimbabwe.
“In our view, the statement was pre-prepared, prepaid and pre-manufactured. I actually believe that she actually wrote that statement before she came here. When you look at her 12-page report presented yesterday, you will be shocked and disappointed to find out that it actually represents a cut and paste job from her previous reports in Venezuela and in Syria.”
“In fact, there are passages that she just plucks from her Venezuela report and replacing Zimbabwe, with Venezuela. It is completely unprofessional and unacceptable,” Biti said.
He alleged that Douhan had no intention of meeting the MDC Alliance and only met them just to fulfil a fixture in a hostile environment. “The reference to consultations with us in particular were just lipstick and cursory. We found it amusing and ridiculous that we were nothing, but a footnote to her list of consultations and engagement.”
As Biti was spitting venom in Harare, President Emmerson Mnangagwa was telling delegates at the Zanu PF conference in Bindura that the UN rapporteur had vindicated his administration’s position that the sanctions were hurting ordinary Zimbabweans.