New U.N. official tied to African failures
May 14,2007 00:00 by UPI

LONDON - The new leader of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development has been linked to several significant failures in his native Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwean Minister for Environment and Tourism Francis Nhema was tied to the collapse of a farm and several wildlife sanctuaries in the African nation upon taking on the U.N. role Saturday, The Sunday Telegraph said.

Nhema reportedly took control of a Zimbabwean farm in 2002, but its owners said the 2,000-acre property has since fallen into utter disarray.

"There were about 50 acres of appalling maize, which will produce nothing," owner Chris Shepherd said of the farm. "The place looks dreadful."

Under Nhema's tenure as Minister for Environment and Tourism, Zimbabwe's numerous wildlife sanctuaries also suffered significantly, the newspaper said.

Poaching has reportedly become frequent around the tourist locales as land reforms have devastated the sanctuaries.

With such failures on his record, the newspaper said Nhema's appointment to the U.N. group was met with criticism from both the United States and Europe, along with several human rights groups.

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