Africa is holding its breath as the 105th Session of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) executive council election tomorrow (Friday) ushers in an new secretary general to succeed the outgoing Dr Tarib Rifai.
The Zimbabwean camp is convinced it has done the necessary homework and is buoyant of a positive result which will see the UN agency having an African at the helm of the body for the first time in the history of the tourism organisation.
Described by many neutrals as ambitious, a man of sound intellectual prowess, charismatic and having sound public diplomacy, African Union and Zimbabwe candidate Dr Walter Mzembi will this Friday battle it out with the other four candidates in a race to succeed Dr Rifai.
The campaign trail which saw the AU candidate traversing the world selling his global tourism vision based on sustainable tourism development will reach business end on Friday.
Zimbabwe’s ambassador to France, Spain and Portugal and also the spokesperson of the Zimbabwe Campaign Team Ambassador Rudo Chitiga is convinced the necessary homework has been done, adding that the candidate is ready for the defining moment.
Buoyed by the Seychelles decision to withdraw its candidature and the global appeal of the AU candidate, Zimbabwe is hopeful of clinching the top post in the first ballot.
According to the regulations, if the first round of polls is inconclusive, the second round will be restricted to the two best candidates.
Two of Dr Mzembi’s opponents Brazilian Marcio Favilla and South Korea’s Madam Young-Shim Dho are all convinced that tomorrow’s election will be tightly contested.
The vote shall be decided in accordance with Article 30 of the statutes and Rule 28 of the council’s rules of procedure, by simple majority, defined as 50 percent plus one of the valid ballots cast.
Carrying the hopes and aspirations of the continent and having the blessings of the continental bloc, Dr Mzembi is hopeful of making Africa proud by clinching the top job.
The stakes are high for Africa and the continent cannot afford to squander the golden opportunity, according to many neutrals.
Outgoing UNWTO Secretary General Tarib Rifai has also noted Friday’s election is special and is hopeful of a smooth exercise.