Farayi Machamire 30 May 2017
HARARE – The race for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation
(UNWTO) secretary-general post is not yet over, Tourism minister Walter
Mzembi (pictured) said yesterday.
Mzembi insists there is still a small window of opportunity for him to
reclaim the post from Georgia’s Zurab Pololikashvili.
“It’s not over yet,” he told a news conference in Harare yesterday.
This comes as the UNWTO general assembly is set to vote on the candidacy
of Pololikashvili, who controversially beat Mzembi at the recently
concluded executive council elections in Madrid, Spain.
Mzembi polled 15 votes against 18 votes garnered by the Georgian in the
second round of voting after the first round failed to secure a clear
The UNWTO general council is now set to ratify Pololikashvili during the
upcoming 22nd assembly.
This comes amid allegations of unethical deal cutting by foreign
ministries and heads of State, with Georgia unrelated to travel and
tourism in exchange for Pololikashvili votes. It also includes possible
upcoming lawsuits against executive council decisions and procedures and
allegations of unfair access and bribery. Mzembi is hoping
Pololikashvili’s nomination will be thrown out.
“…we are still the dark horse going forward to September 11-16 when the
UNWTO shall convene for the general assembly in China,” he said.
Pololikashvili’s nomination has to be confirmed by the general assembly in
Chengdu, by a two-third majority.
“….it means he will be required to master 102 member country
endorsements by voting in order to be appointed the new secretary-general,
so we will be there to make sure that we are correctly and strategically
positioned to take advantage of any outcome,” Mzembi said.