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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  • BaldarTFlagass

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

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

  • edgydrifter

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

    • Yes, his Gueca Solo was inspiring.

  • Baconzgood

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

    • Sayyyyy, that's a really nice towel!


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

    • HateMachine

      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

        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

          You know who else gets baked during blather time?

  • Mahousu

    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."

  • What's next? Cooking classes with Ida Amin?

    • Generation[redacted]

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

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

  • BaldarTFlagass

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

  • noodlesalad

    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

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

  • SorosBot

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

    (Wait, what?!?)

  • BaldarTFlagass

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

    • Schmegeg


    • Stand Your Elephant?

  • MissTaken

    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

    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

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

  • Lionel[redacted]Esq

    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

    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_

      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

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

  • flamingpdog

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

  • PuckStopsHere

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

  • MrFizzy

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

  • SayItWithWookies

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

  • Schmegeg

    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

    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

    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!

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

    • YasserArraFeck

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

  • flamingpdog

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

  • Blueb4sunrise

    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

    World Tourette's Organization !

  • Schmannnity

    Cecil Rhodes wept.

    • BaldarTFlagass

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

      • Schmannnity

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

        • 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

    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

    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

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

  • mavenmaven

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

  • flamingpdog

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

    • Chichikovovich

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

  • ColHeightsChic

    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

    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

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

    • subsum


  • 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

      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".

  • Alanis Morissette needs to update with a new verse.

  • MosesInvests

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

    Wait, what?!

  • sullivanst

    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!

  • "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

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

  • KathrynSane

    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

    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.

  • horsedreamer_1

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

    • TribecaMike

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

  • TribecaMike

    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

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

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

  • Raskolnikova

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

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