Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Smaller Zim sends delegation double that of SA to #COP26 in Scotland

By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |

The Zimbabwean government has reportedly sent more than 100 delegates to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, with information most of these people are not even climate experts.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa inspects Russian honour guards during a welcoming ceremony upon his arrival at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport on January 14, 2019. (Photo by Alexander NEMENOV / AFP)

COP26, the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), will take place between 1 and 12 November 2021 in Glasgow. The conference will analyse key issues facing all industries as countries accelerate towards the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Farai Maguwu, director of the Centre for Natural Resource Governance, a Zimbabwe-based advocacy and research organisation, on Tuesday claimed that Zimbabwe had sent more than 100 delegates and some of them were not climate experts.

He said a bigger part of the delegation had people with nothing to do with climate change issues.

“Our ‘sanctions-afflicted’ Zim is sending a delegation of more than 100 people to Cop 26 in Glasgow. Some are already there whilst others are packing their bags. Of the 100+ delegates, more than 60 have nothing to do with Climate Change,” he said.

“Among the non-technical members who constitute the majority of the delegates are relatives and friends of powerful officials responsible for selecting those attending the jamboree.

“Some technical staff could not travel to Scotland because spaces had been taken by non-technical climate tourists.”

He said Zimbabwe’s delegation is reportedly bigger than South Africa’s, yet it is a bigger country.

“The Zimbabwean delegation is said to be more than double that of South Africa whose population is more than four times bigger than ours whilst their economy is thousand times better and healthier than ours.

“Countries like the US and China also send big delegations to COP conferences but these are composed largely of technical staff. Each person in their delegations has a specific task to carry out.

“Our non-technical delegates on the other hand have found yet another reason to spend what we don’t have. Cyclone Idai victims are still crying for help to build back better their lives ruined by the climate induced disaster.”

In an interview with Nehanda Radio, opposition MDC Alliance secretary for International Relations Gladys Hlatshwayo said President Emmerson Mnangagwa was using the COP26 as a launchpad to siphon the country’s resources out of the country.

“Mr Mnangagwa and Zanu PF continue to plunder the resources of our country at the expense of suffering citizens. When it comes to citizens’ demands for socio- economic rights including access to health. education etc, they are quick to talk about sanctions.

“It is becoming clear that we have a dearth of leadership in this country. We need new stewards of the country’s resources and not these roving bandits who see every international trip as an opportunity to squander the national purse. It is really sad!” she said.

Mnangagwa said he was eagerly looking forward to attending the COP26, adding his government was committed to reducing emissions by 40 percent.

“While we will offer to hasten our economic transformation, we do need to remain alive to the shocks of drought and the impact of climate change through necessary social safety nets.

“I will be appealing for multilateral support to supplement our efforts. Zimbabwe has come a long way over the past three years. I hope our presence at COP26 and our commitment to the global fight against climate change will be recognized as part of our ongoing re-engagement campaign,” he said. Nehanda Radio