A bombshell statement on UNWTO by former Secretary-General Dr. Taleb Rifai was seen as a life time tribute, and a wonderful testimonial by the former minister of tourism and UNWTO candidate Dr. Walter Mzembi, who was just acquitted by a Zimbabwe High Court on charges of corruption.
- Tourism leaders from around the globe had been congratulating former Tourism Minister Dr. Walter Mzembi on having found not guilty in a UNWTO Assembly-related crime hunt in his home country Zimbabwe.
- Former UNWTO Secretary-General Dr. Taleb Rifai has a bombshell statement to make in regards to the current UNWTO administration, and the disasters we are witnessing today.
- Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Bartlett said: Walter’s role in mainstreaming tourism as a true driver of economic growth and job creation was well celebrated in the UNWTO and other tourism fora across the world.
Congratulations, he has finally been vindicated, said Kenya’s Secretary of Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala last week when reading the eTurboNews article on Former tourism minister Dr. Walter Mzembi not guilty in a UNWTO General Assembly-related crime hunt in Zimbabwe.
WTTC CEO Gloria Guevara told eTurboNews: “Dr. Walter Mzembi was really good, relating her greetings.”
Louis D’Amore, founder and president of the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT) told Dr. Mzembi: “Would have been a different tourism world had you had been UNWTO Secretary-General these past 4 years – as you should have been. I am delighted to see this – Looking forward to your continued leadership in global tourism.”
The Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism for Jamaica, and chair of the UNWTO Regional Council for the Americas said:
“So pleased that Dr. Walter Mzembi has been justly exonerated. Indeed he was a great champion for tourism and establish Zimbabwe as a center of thought leadership and a reference for tourism accomplishment in Africa.
Walters’s role in mainstreaming tourism as a true driver of economic growth and job creation was well celebrated in the UNWTO and other tourism fora across the world.
We trust his sharp mind and academic rigor will not be lost to his native land, which he loves so much.”
Hisham Zaazou, the former Minister of Tourism for Egypt told eTurboNews: “Well done .. excellent coverage .. and a big congrats to my friend Walter .. who also visited Egypt as my guest a few years back and played an excellent role in the relationship… my sincere best wishes to him and his family for better days to come.”
Nothing however topped the heartfelt statement by former UNWTO Secretary-General, Dr. Taleb Rifai.
Dr. Mzembi was very moved and said: “Dr. Rifai’s statement is a lifetime tribute and a wonderful testimonial.”
Dr. Rifai wrote from his home in Jordan:
When I first met Walter Mzembi I felt I knew a great man and, a wonderful human being.
What the days’ decision meant to me is that finally what is right must and will prevail, no matter how long it takes.
Walter is finally cleared by his own people. This, to me, is an acknowledgment of all his contributions to his country and his people .a knew Walter, and always believed in him.
Since we started to work together on the UN WTO general assembly at the beautiful Victoria Falls. I knew he was doing the best he could under difficult circumstances.
I have seen this many times, when someone dares to take risks, to get things done, he or she is always risking being accused of wrongdoing.
Playing safe never gets a thing done. One must take risks to address the limitations of the system, and that is exactly what Walter did.
A brave man indeed, not only a good Zimbabwean but a good and brave African.
My only regret is that when he ran as Secretary-General of the UN WTO, in 2017, I did not support him enough. I was protecting the decisions of the Executive Council.
The result was the disasters we are witnessing today.
Now, I know that one can not trust such decisions.
Like Walter, I should have acted bravely and stood by my beliefs, and not follow the book by the letter.
An appeal by the ZImbabwe prosecutor in charge of keeping opponents to the current administration quiet is possible. Dr. Mzembi has been living in exile after he was poisoned and barely escaped death.
Dr. Mzembi tweeted to his attorney:
Thank u @JobSikhala1 Koto &Co for standing with me during my time of need. Standing to defend me at the time to this day called for some courage & legal militancy. Truth shall set us free @freddyMM93 . HC Judge impartiality emulatable!