Mike Campbell, my late father-in-law, was a successful commercial farmer and an ardent conservationist. At his Biri River Lodge wildlife conservancy here in Zimbabwe, he introduced sable, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, impala, and others.
In 2002, the conservancy was invaded and poaching began immediately on a large scale. In 2005, the lodge was deliberately burnt down. Mike was twice abducted by President Mugabe loyalists, and died in April 2011 from the injuries he sustained during the second abduction and torture.
Mike’s story is just one case of the widespread slaughter of wildlife, gross systematic human rights abuses, and ongoing degradation of the environment. Despite this President Mugabe was selected to co-host the next United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) summit with Zambia.
Which is why I’m creating this petition: I’m asking individual Governments to pressure the United Nations into withdrawing recognition of President Mugabe of Zimbabwe as a “leader for tourism” by pulling out of the UNWTO summit. Canada has already taken a principled stance and pulled out, and other states are asked to do likewise.