HOW WONDERFUL  3:45 pm May 29, 2012

Robert Mugabe, Beacon Of Hope, Appointed Tourism Ambassador By U.N.

by Liz Colville

so sleepy

Robert Mugabe, yes, that one, the continued monomaniacal leader and premier “land reformer” of Zimbabwe, has a new job! In addition to the old job! Because he is getting bored with reforming land and “winning” elections and having lots of friends do things for him with guns pointed at their heads and wads of worthless cash stuffed down their back pockets. It turns out the United Nations, not even your high school’s model United Nations team, but the real thing, has appointed Mugabe as a “leader for tourism” in the UN’s World Tourism Organization. Is this like when an alcoholic celebrity is asked to do community service? Also, Mugabe is under a travel ban, which makes this extra wonderful.

Mugabe recently met with another winner, Zambian president Michael Sata, at Victoria Falls, on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, where they shook hands and promised to try to get Richard Branson on the phone to talk about a fleet of fun planes they want to call Virgin Africa. No, not really. But well maybe!

Here’s what the UN’s WTO secretary general Taleb Rifai had to say about Zimbabwe, according to the Mugabe-run Zimbabwean newspaper the Herald:

I was told about the wonderful experience and the warm hospitality of this country … By coming here, it is recognition, an endorsement on the country that it is a safe destination.

By which he must mean…travel is CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP! Zimbabwe is the new Cancun you guys!

Er…OK! There are so many places in this world, and yet the theory seems to be…bring tourism money into dictator-run dangerzone, danger go away! Someone normal, Kumbi Mechemwa of the Movement for Deomcratic Change, had this to say, to the Guardian:

I can’t see any justification for the man being an ‘ambassador’. An ambassador for what? The man has blood on his hands. Do they want tourists to see those bloody hands?

Sure, yes. Mugabe has been in power for more than 30 years, during which time Zimbabwe has gone from the “bread basket” of Africa to a “basketcase,” in the words of AFP. But who better to be a beacon of Zimbabwean tourism than this strapping 88-year-old? He is under a travel ban, after all (specifically they won’t let him into Europe, which is inconvenient, seeing as the International Criminal Court is in Europe. Never mind). He has seen so much of Zimbabwe from his throne! He is an expert! [The Guardian]

 
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{ 77 comments }

BaldarTFlagass May 29, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Zimbabwe? Shit, I already got my cruise booked—7 days in the Horn of Africa! Port calls in Mogadishu!

littlebigdaddy May 29, 2012 at 3:49 pm

On a small yacht?

BaldarTFlagass May 29, 2012 at 3:51 pm

On a Carnival Cruise! With Captain Francesco Schettino!

actor212 May 29, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Man, I took that cruise! You won't believe the entertainment! A bunch of guys come on board and do all kinds of trick shots with AK-47s!

Bit of a rip off, tho. They demanded large tips or your first born daughter.

I miss her…

actor212 May 29, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Damn, I was looking for a nice safe haven to travel to now that Cuba has gotten all Americanized…

edgydrifter May 29, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Augusto Pinochet will always be remembered for his marvelous work leading the UN's Spring Formal Dance Decoration Committee.

actor212 May 29, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Yes, his Gueca Solo was inspiring.

Baconzgood May 29, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Ok. Stop the planet…I'm going to get off at this stop and thumb a ride on the next planet.

actor212 May 29, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Sayyyyy, that's a really nice towel!

Pop_Socket May 29, 2012 at 3:51 pm

MODEL UNITED NATIONS LIBEL!

MUN is the second dorkiest thing you can do in high school only because not enough girls join the Mathletes.

HateMachine May 29, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Man, nothing like a bunch of chuckling jackasses (myself included) trying to insert the word "frotting" into ECOSOC resolutions while that one guy that every committee has is trying to take it seriously, with overwrought metaphors.

aklibtard May 29, 2012 at 6:35 pm

My Model UN team always got baked in the bathroom during the blather time when we were supposed to be listening to whatever important thing was being said in the general session. Sadly, Model Ukraine didn't get the representation they deserved.

horsedreamer_1 May 29, 2012 at 6:58 pm

You know who else gets baked during blather time?

starfanglednut May 29, 2012 at 8:13 pm

All of…

Mahousu May 29, 2012 at 3:52 pm

The World Tourism Organization is simply jealous of all the attention the World Trade Organization gets. They decided this move would win them the coveted title of "most evil WTO."

Pop_Socket May 29, 2012 at 3:52 pm

What's next? Cooking classes with Ida Amin?

Generation[redacted] May 29, 2012 at 4:00 pm

My Nigerian Investment Club is doing well, thank you. Just a bit more cash for incidentals and it's going to pay off big.

actor212 May 29, 2012 at 4:01 pm

I've got big money tied up in a mall food court in Ethiopia.

BaldarTFlagass May 29, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Are you sure this isn't an article from The Onion?

noodlesalad May 29, 2012 at 3:53 pm

This is the sort of shit that would make conservatards crazy about the UN, if they knew who Mugabe was, or what a Zimbabwe is.

Oblios_Cap May 29, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Probably not. He's their ideal GOP "daddy" candidate.

SorosBot May 29, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Next thing you know, the Nobel committee will be awarding Henry Kissinger the Peace Prize.

(Wait, what?!?)

BaldarTFlagass May 29, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Just don't go out after curfew in Harare, or you might get shot or stabbed Ndebele.

Schmegeg May 29, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Orlando?

actor212 May 29, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Stand Your Elephant?

MissTaken May 29, 2012 at 3:56 pm

promised to try to get Richard Branson on the phone to talk about a fleet of fun planes they want to call Virgin Africa. No, not really.

Ah man, I was looking forward to watching a safari drenched in the purple mood lighting.

HobbesEvilTwin May 29, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Way to go, U.fucking.N.
Did this idea come out of the "How can we directly feed into the worst things that Fox News viewers think of us" committee?

YasserArraFeck May 29, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Given that $1 US will get me about 85 million Zimbabwean dollars – that's it, I'm fuckin' going!!

Lionel[redacted]Esq May 29, 2012 at 3:59 pm

I don't know. I'm sure there are a ton of former Bush administration officials who would love to see places in the world where they know how to do torture right.

Terry May 29, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Maybe they offered him this title to distract him from the fact that he and his country are kept off of every single significant board, panel, working group, etc at the UN.

Rotundo_ May 29, 2012 at 6:08 pm

I have this image playing in my mind of a group of people brainstorming a position for him "How about creating unified floor wax standards?" "No, too obscure and he'd wind up killing people over flooring." "How about a cultural celebration czar?" "No! Fuck it all, just give him tourism, he and that North Korean guy can argue all day long about shit and stay out of the way!"

Oblios_Cap May 29, 2012 at 4:01 pm

It it doesn't invlove shooting anyone, Mugabe will require vast sums of money to take the job.

flamingpdog May 29, 2012 at 4:02 pm

He's publishing a book, "Zimbabwe on 100 Trillion Dollars a Day".

PuckStopsHere May 29, 2012 at 4:03 pm

How's this sound? "Zimbabwe is for Lovers." Just running it up the flagpole, so to speak.

MrFizzy May 29, 2012 at 4:04 pm

This is like having an E. Coli bacteria as the logo for your salad bar.

SayItWithWookies May 29, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Only if Hope is his dog's name. Oh — beacon — nevermind.

Schmegeg May 29, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Allentown to Harare with stopovers in Addis Ababa a mere $2005! And only 30 or so hours. I am so gone, Anyone want to but some Olympic tickets?

BaldarTFlagass May 29, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Every time I consider taking a vacation in Africa, I just go and put on the DVD of Chris Walken in "The Dogs of War." Removes any desire almost immediately.

Boojum May 29, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Blood tourism is the newest thing! Come watch as the horrible dictator commits an act of genocide! Thrill to the sounds of gunshots, laugh at the antic filled baby toss, and get up close and personal as twenty or so soldiers participate in a warm, loving gang rape!

actor212 May 29, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Hey, don't threaten ME with a good time!

YasserArraFeck May 29, 2012 at 4:20 pm

That's not a necklace – think of it more like….a flaming lei

flamingpdog May 29, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Kim Jong Un and the North Korean Board of Tourism are challenging the appointment.

Blueb4sunrise May 29, 2012 at 4:12 pm

I think that since it was still south Rhodesia when Muggles was born, they can claim that he's not ……bah……..lost the joke…………..something about kerning……

HempDogbane May 29, 2012 at 4:13 pm

World Tourette's Organization !

Schmannnity May 29, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Cecil Rhodes wept.

BaldarTFlagass May 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm

And Ian Smith said, "I told you so."

Schmannnity May 29, 2012 at 4:20 pm

It takes a special kind of evil to make apartheid look good.

Chet Kincaid May 29, 2012 at 6:15 pm

It's a nice racket white people have, fucking up other people's countries, leaving/getting kicked out, and then standing back with arms folded going, "see!" Works even better when you still smugly control all the fucking diamonds.

Chichikovovich May 29, 2012 at 4:17 pm

The Guardian does kind of dump some cold water on a perfectly good bonfire of outrage at the end. Party-poopers:

UNWTO, which has headquarters in Madrid, insisted that it had not awarded Mugabe an official title. Sandra Carvao, its co-ordinator of communications, said: "Correct would be to say UNWTO has presented both presidents with an open letter which calls for them to support tourism as a means to foster sustainable development in their countries to the benefit of their people and consequently ask them to support the sector in this respect."

She added: "UNWTO does not have an ambassadors programme and the receiving of the UNWTO/WTTC [World Travel and Tourism Council] open letter implies no legal commitment or title attribution to the country or the head of state or government in question."

In other words, they sent Zambia and Zimbabwe a letter that said, in diplomatese: "Victoria Falls has the potential to be one of the great tourist destinations of the world, if you would stop fucking everything up with the killing and torture and stuff. Can't we all just love each other. Not that way, you pervs."

Dr_Zoidberg May 29, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Now, come on! He does a lovely flower arrangement of peonies, wild roses and severed limbs. It took first place at last week's Gardening Club BBQ and Genocide-o-rama!

MosesInvests May 29, 2012 at 5:19 pm

I laugh every time I read one of your comments, because I hear it in the voice of an 80-year old Polish Jew.

Dr_Zoidberg May 29, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Sure, why not?

starfanglednut May 29, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Oy.

mavenmaven May 29, 2012 at 4:18 pm

He would also like his country to be the Winter Olympics host.

flamingpdog May 29, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Mugabe hired zombie Frank Sinatra to record the new national tourism jingle, "I Did Zimbabwe".

Chichikovovich May 29, 2012 at 4:23 pm

♪♫ I left my heart, in West Harare. ♪♫
And my kidneys, were left there too…♪♫

ColHeightsChic May 29, 2012 at 4:21 pm

There's nothing that gets my blood boiling and sarcastic-laden comments spewing like the f-ing UN. That said, turns out this story is not true. Not at all. Not even a little bit. Bummer, I was looking forward to my "Why I fucking hate the UN today" tirade.

Callyson May 29, 2012 at 4:25 pm

the United Nations…has appointed Mugabe as a “leader for tourism” in the UN’s World Tourism Organization

And the poll on the right is asking me how often I've traveled in the past 12 months. Where's the "not often enough to bring this bastard to justice" option?

pinkocommi May 29, 2012 at 4:31 pm

I hate it when the UN does things to validate criticism of the UN.

subsum May 29, 2012 at 4:33 pm

+1

ManchuCandidate May 29, 2012 at 4:47 pm

It's too bad Idi Amin is dead. At least if you took a tour with him then you'd get served lunch but don't complain if you get Political Prisoner baby back ribs.

glamourdammerung May 29, 2012 at 6:09 pm

I still think that Idi Amin is the yardstick for crazy dictators since chowing down on the opposition is the gold standard of crazy as far as I am concerned.

But he was totally right about the eating 30 oranges a day to recharge one's "sexual power".

Smitros May 29, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Alanis Morissette needs to update with a new verse.

MosesInvests May 29, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Next thing you know Syria will be chairing the UN Human Rights Commission.

Wait, what?!

sullivanst May 29, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Apparently someone at the UN overheard that the organization has a credibility problem, and took this to mean they had too much credibility. Problem solved!

Chet Kincaid May 29, 2012 at 5:30 pm

"Come, visit Africa, white people of the world! While you are away from your home country, we will nationalize your real estate as an overseas colony of Greater Zimbabwe!"

GeneralLerong May 29, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Hey, a country Cheney can visit without being arrested as a war criminal!

KathrynSane May 29, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Fun fact: The airport on the Zimbabwean side of Victoria Falls sells no food except steak dinners. It makes sense in a sad sort of way.

chascates May 29, 2012 at 6:51 pm

There was a song that got local airplay by an Austin group back in the eighties that went:
"Idi Amin is my yard man,
Kind of scary but he looks so grand"
sung to a calypso beat.

There are second acts in the life of horrible dictators.

M. Bouffant May 29, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Austin hell. Here's the Idi Amin song.

chascates May 29, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Definitely more threatening sounding than calypso!

horsedreamer_1 May 29, 2012 at 7:01 pm

FOX News "accidentally" identified the photo as 'Barack Obama, U.S, President'.

TribecaMike May 30, 2012 at 1:24 am

And no doubt Murdoch's News Corp just incidentally handed an envelope full of cash to Mugabe.

TribecaMike May 29, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Aren't these UN "appointments" done on a rotation basis among their members? If so, I invite Mr. Mugabe to to rotate on THIS.

Also, I look forward to Mugabe leading a tour to his grave site. I'll bring my shiniest dancing shoes.

ttommyunger May 29, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Zimbabwe, come for the water-boarding, stay for the genital electrocution.

Chow Yun Flat May 29, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Mugabe commutes to Singapore for cancer treatments. He will probably die with a bunch of unredeemed miles on Emirates Airlines.

Raskolnikova May 30, 2012 at 1:09 am

I am sorry but I prefer my Dictators to have at least some amount of Oil.

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