African Centre for Good Governance chairman Michelo Hansungule has written to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) headquarters in New York, demanding for the removal of the UN Resident Coordinator Janet Rogan before she damages the international organisation’s reputation.

And Hansungule says Rogan has crossed the red line and exposed herself as a local politician in the ruling Patriotic Front.

According to a letter dated April 14, 2018 addressed to the UNDP administrator Achim Steiner, Hansungule stated that Zambia was, however, grateful for the support it received from the United Nations agencies, but noted that the trust was under threat due to the unethical and dangerous behaviour that Rogan played in the political arena.

“On behalf of several Zambians in Zambia and abroad who have tasked me with the responsibility to send you this letter, I respectfully address you. Excellencies, Zambia has forever been grateful of the developmental support it receives from the United Nations agencies. Development assistance in the areas of health, education, socio-economic, population and governance have been crucial in improving the livelihoods of Zambians. As such the country has always trusted and held the United Nations in high esteem,” he stated.

“However, it is very unfortunate and extremely disappointing that this trust is now under threat due to perceived inappropriate, unethical and clearly dangerous behaviour by the UN Resident Coordinator in Zambia. We need not to tell you that local and social media are abuzz with stories of how contrary to the mandate of senior UN officials in host countries, Ms. Rogan has dangerously played into the political arena of the host country. From her letters to you and her and other activities all of which are in our possession, Ms. Rogan has no doubt crossed the red line and exposed herself as just one of the local politicians in the ruling Patriotic Front. Her conduct is inconsistent with her diplomatic status and mandate.”

Prof Hansungule observed that Zambia had no strong institutions to support democracy.

“You know that Zambia does not have strong institutions to support democracy. In place is just a mockery of the judiciary. The ruling party intimidates into politically motivated rulings and orders which make no legal sense. Decisions on safety and security are brewed in backyards of ruling party officials and cadres. Evidence of all this is abound. In the circumstances, Zambians hoped for a strong international monitoring, by the international community led by the UNDP. Perception, however, is that under Ms Rogan’s stewardship, UNDP is just one of PF’s outfits,” he stated.

“Suspicions of Ms Rogan’s undue involvement in Zambia’s electoral process go back to the time that UNDP contracted consultants to audit the voters roll and alleged tweaking of registered voters numbers to favour the ruling party. It is now being revealed that she sat with impunity on the Conflict Structural Vulnerability Assessment report whose findings show a structural environment not fit for free and fair elections. And now an email purportedly to have been sent by Ms Rogan to a Valerie de Campos Mello at UNDP New York has surfaced in which she assured the recipient that opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema would be ‘removed from public visibility despite court proceedings’,” he stated.

Prof Hansungule said Rogan’s behaviour was dangerous.

“This is callous behaviour from one who is meant to be an international civil servant. These allegations are very serious and warrant immediate investigation by the United Nations in order to protect it’s integrity and beyond the country. Not least they are dangerous and will have a long lasting dent on the image of the United Nations in the country and the region. As concerned Zambians who want the country to continue enjoying a cordial relationship with the United Nations, we demand that you remove the compromised Ms Rogan immediately from Zambia and that she should not be deployed to any other developing country. Because she has no conscience, she does not feel the need to resign her position given the seriousness of the allegations. Any other person more especially in a position such as hers would easily have stepped aside as soon as the allegations surfaced,” stated Prof Hansungule.

“Removing Ms Rogan will demonstrate to the nation that the United Nations is committed to ensuring good governance and to the protection of integrity of election in UN members states which is crucial to democracy. We all have the belief that you will do the right thing to bring back confidence among Zambians in the United Nations.”