Friday, January 06, 2006

Yet another UN Envoy goes to Zim


THE United Nations is dispatching another emissary to Zimbabwe — the third envoy to visit Harare inside six months — to prevail on the government to accept urgent relief for victims of its controversial clean-up campaign in a move that shows the world body’s growing impatience with Harare. ....

“There is huge interest in Gambari’s visit by the Security Council,” said a UN official in Harare privy to the latest UN special envoy’s visit to Harare.
Sources said the Security Council members, shocked by the latest report produced by Jan Egeland, the UN humanitarian coordinator who visited Harare and Bulawayo in November last year, tasked the latest envoy to assess the situation in Zimbabwe and ensure that dialogue continued between Harare and the world governing body.
Gambari was appointed undersecretary for political affairs in June last year after serving as undersecretary general and special advisor on Africa, promoting UN and international support for African development.

He was Nigeria’s permanent representative to the UN before joining the secretariat in 1999.
However, sources within the government said this week Harare would seek to scupper the visit in the wake of a ZANU PF National People’s Conference resolution passed in Umzingwane last month by the ruling party delegates not to entertain UN envoys who serve the “neocolonial interests” of former colonial master Britiain, with which President Mugabe’s government has had a sour relationship since the launch of the controversial land reform programme in 2000.

The officials said the government was still livid with both Tibaijuka and Egeland’s reports and saw Gambari’s proposed visit as designed to further embarrass it in the eyes of the international community.
They said the government further saw the trip as the brainchild of certain Western countries on the Security Council bent on discrediting the country’s leadership, currently under targeted travel and financial sanctions.
“We also don’t trust this Nigerian fellow,” said a government official.

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