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UN embarrasses Zim officials wanting to attend its general assembly

The United Nations (UN) secretariat has written to the government of Zimbabwe expressing concern over the ‘undiplomatic behaviour’ of several department officials writing to it soliciting for a place at the 77th UN General Assembly in New York.

A leaked memo from Agriculture permanent secretary John Basera’s office to all chief directors, directors, deputy directors and heads of office revealed the issue.

The 77th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 77) opened on Tuesday 13 September.

Basera condemned the conduct of department officials who wrote to the UN secretariat asking for a place at the meeting. He described the conduct as “undiplomatic”.

“The United Nations Secretariat has complained to our Mission in New York over the conduct of some Government Officials who directly contact the Secretariat soliciting to attend UN meetings,” read the memo.

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“The practice is unprocedural and undiplomatic and, therefore, Government Officials are hereby directed to desist from such behaviour.

“It is also of concern that there are other scenarios where delegates travelling to New York for UN Sessions end up attending the sessions virtually or travel to the sessions out of time, and attend closing sessions.”

Basera further stated that it was “unnecessary wastage of resources” to go to New York without any significant mandate.

“In line with the pronouncement by his Excellency the President on the need to apply prudence when undertaking foreign trips, officials in the Ministry are called upon to take note of the observations above in order not to bring the country’s name into disrepute,” he said.

Mnangagwa has been castigated for wasting public resources by moving around the world with a large delegation from Zimbabwe.

In October last year he went to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland with more than 100 delegates with allegations that most of these people were not even climate experts.