Wednesday, September 25, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) Mugabe blames UK for Vic Falls bomb alarm
29/08/2013 00:00:00
by Agencies

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has accused Western countries of spreading a false bomb alarm at Victoria Falls in a bid to sabotage the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly jointly hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia at the resort.

Some Western countries led by the United Kingdom and some rights groups protested at the selection of Zimbabwe as a co-host for the global conference, which ran from Aug 24 to 29.

UN Watch, an independent human rights group, said allowing Zimbabwe to co-host the event was a “disgraceful show of support – and a terribly timed award of false legitimacy – for a brutal, corrupt and authoritarian regime”.

Hillel Neuer, head of the Geneva-based group, said: “Amid reports of election rigging and continuing human rights abuses, Zimbabwe is the last country that should be legitimised by a UN summit of any kind. The notion that the UN should spin this country as a lovely tourist destination is, frankly, sickening.”

Addressing delegates at the closing meeting’s ceremony in Zambia on Wednesday, Mugabe said Western countries sparked rumours that bombs had been planted at the venue of the event in a bid to cause chaos.

"There was posted on the internet from London, that a bomb had been planted somewhere here for you to be frightened so you could disperse and then it will be said the meeting failed," he said.

"We are not terrorists. We do not kill people here. We seek no harm to others, we seek friendship and cooperation; we seek peace and not war in Africa. We seek good neighbourliness and respect for each other’s territorial integrity."

The veteran leader said Zimbabwe and Zambia were peaceful countries and ideal tourist destinations as he also rubbished warnings issued by the United States against travelling to the Victoria Falls.

"Also from Washington (United States)and we are surprised, is the warning given to would be visitors to this country that visiting the Victoria Falls is dangerous. Ladies and gentlemen you are now our ambassadors to tell the truth," he said addressing the delegates.

He said the record attendance by delegates to the general assembly was an endorsement of the Victoria Falls as a safe tourist destination.

Victoria Falls which is on the border between Zimbabwe and Livingstone Zambia played host to the just ended 20th session of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly.

Mugabe urged Africa to adopt new technologies which will help facilitate easier processing of tourists as well as improve destination accessibility.

"We all need to continue working together, not only as Sadc region but also as a continent under the auspices of the UNTWO to promote tourism in itself a key pillar of our economic development," he said.

Zambian President Michael Sata said the success of the general assembly had opened up new possibilities for member states to ensure that tourism contributes to development of their economies.

"The hosting of the event is historical for us and will forever remain a treasured experience," he said.

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