Phillip Chiyangwa denies insulting Mzembi

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Zifa and Cosafa President Dr Phillip Chiyangwa has said images circulating on social media of him denigrating Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Dr Walter Mzembi are fake, malicious and designed to injure their personalities.

Dr Mzembi recently narrowly lost elections in the race for the UNWTO secretary general post and has been subject of unwarranted derogatory social media denigration and attacks from the opposition.

Dr Chiyangwa said he sympathised with Dr Mzembi and urged those disparaging the minister to desist from such acts.

Dr Mzembi led the first round with 11 votes, followed by Mr Zurab Pololikashvilli of Georgia with (8), Mr Márcio Favilla of Brazil (4), Colombia’s Mr Jaime Alberto Cabal Sanclemente (3), while the only female candidate, Republic of Korea Ambassador Young-Shim Dho got 7.

Although leading by three votes in the first round, Dr Mzembi failed to garner 17 mandatory votes required to give him an outright majority and avoid the second round.

Things changed when Georgia got 18 and Zimbabwe 15 in the second round.

“I have seen an image circulating on social media with me being quoted defaming Dr Mzembi,” said Dr Chiyangwa. “Let me urge those circulating this defamatory image to desist from doing so.

“I have great respect for Minister Mzembi and he displayed tireless effort in campaigning for the UNWTO post. I sympathise with him for the loss. The defamatory image circulating on social media should be dismissed with the contempt it deserves.”

Dr Chiyangwa was quoted by the football association’s official website as expressing the concern.

The Zimbabwe Football and cosafa chief was recently appointed as the vice president of the powerful CAF Africa Cup of Nations organising committee.