Chiyangwa dismisses false reports

HARARE - Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa has angrily dismissed reports on social media which quoted him mocking Tourism minister Walter Mzembi for his loss in last Friday’s  United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)  elections.

In a statement last night, Chiyangwa said the articles were false, damaging and malicious, as they were intended to put a wedge between himself and Mzembi.

“I have seen an image circulating on social media with me being quoted defaming …Mzembi. Let me urge those circulating this defamatory image to desist from doing so,” Chiyangwa said.

The Zimbabwe football and Cosafa chief who was recently appointed as the vice president of the powerful Caf Africa Cup of Nations Organising Committee added that he has respect for the Tourism minister and even sympathises with him.

“I have great respect for minister Mzembi and he displayed tireless effort in campaigning for the UNWTO post. I sympathise with him for the loss. The defamatory image circulating on social media should be dismissed with the contempt it deserves,” Chiyangwa concluded.

Mzembi, last Friday, came agonisingly close to winning elections to become secretary-general of UNWTO which were held in Madrid, Spain, before going down in the run-off.

In the end, Zurab Pololikashvili of Georgia was elected to become the next UNWTO secretary-general, beating Mzembi by a mere three votes — and despite having lost to the Zimbabwean minister by a similar margin in the first round of voting.

In the first round of voting, Mzembi polled 11 votes to Pololikashvili’s eight. But the Georgian swept to the position after polling 18 votes to the Zimbabwean minister’s 15 in the runoff.

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