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May 30, 2012 / kathrynllewellyn

Lose your way – We won’t follow!

Many of you may have seen the reports today about Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe being asked by the UN to become an ambassador for tourism. It verges on comical that a man who is banned from travelling to Europe because of his human rights abuse record is now being asked to promote tourism by the UN.

I’ve found myself consumed with rage today about this – hence this very ranty blog you are about to read.

A dear friend of mine Lovemore Matombo, was the leader of the Zimbabwe trade union movement and a man who truly lives by the saying “be the change you want to see in the world”. He has spent his life fighting for what is right. He has defended the rights of the voiceless in Zimbabwe and ensured that Mugabe has been challenged at every level. This has of course come at a dear price for him and his family. He has stood at the front of more demonstrations than most of us will have even seen. He has been arrested, tortured and victimised for doing the right thing. He is honest, just, brave and all that is good and right with the world.

Over the past few weeks Lovemore has been in hospital with pneumonia. He has been in a critical condition and in need of intensive care.  His health is so poor because of the amount of physical trauma it’s been put under – a result the beatings and torture he received. Medical care in Zimbabwe is not free and so his family have struggled financially, but have managed to pay for some of the hospital fees. Their money has now run out – yet Lovemore still needs care if he’s to survive this illness.

I’ve spent the last week trying to raise this money and I’ve not been successful to date – I’m still trying. This morning, reading about the UN’s latest move and Mugabe’s smug and disgusting twisting of the story back in Zimbabwe, has made me more angry than I’ve been in a very long time.


Human rights abuses still happen every day in Zimbabwe. Mugabe turned a beautiful and prosperous country into ashes. The blood has moved far beyond his hands and he is soaked in it.  He is all that is wrong with the world – greed, self interest, power and hate. He symbolises why we – as a global society – have such heartache and pain. Yet an international institution that was set up to facilitate cooperation in human rights, social progress and world peace, is providing a platform for a man who stands for the exact opposite.

There will be very few people who disagree with what I’ve said in this blog (rant), but how many of you will act?  To make change happen we have to take action. I’ve written to William Hague to let him know just how I feel and just how disappointed I am that an organisation that Britain is a member of is acting in a way that totally violates the values on which it was founded.

I’m offended to my core and you should be too. My ask to you is to act by emailing Mr Hague to let him know that we want a UN system that champions people like Lovemore Matombo and not the man who’s covered in blood. E-mail:


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