United Nations Secretary General António Guterres has dispelled allegations that Zambia’s UNDP resident coordinator Janet Rogan is compromised.
Speaking through his deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq, in a video footage posted on the United Nations official website in New York, Guterres said the UN country team and the Resident Coordinator remained dedicated and impartial partners of the Zambian people.
He said Rogan could not withhold the Conflict Structure Vulnerabilities report for the 2016 general election because the said document belonged to the Electoral Commission of Zambia, and as such, Rogan could not prevent it from being released to the public
“In response to questions about allegations against the UN Resident Coordinator in Zambia, Janet Rogan, the Spokesman emphasized that the UN Country Team and the Resident Coordinator will continue to be dedicated and impartial partners of the Zambian people,” Haq said.
“One allegation has been that the Resident Coordinator had held back on the issuance of the so-called Conflict Structure Vulnerabilities report. That document is a report of the Election Commission of Zambia, so the Resident Coordinator is not in a position to withhold it.”
he also said the consultants who compiled the report were hired by the Electoral Commission of Zambia and not the UNDP.
“There were also allegations that UNDP contract consultants audited the voters’ roll. These allegations were raised, and refuted, previously. In fact, the consultants in question were hired by the Electoral Commission of Zambia, and not by UNDP,” said Haq.
And Zambia’s United Nations Development Programme National Information Officer Mark Maseko could not give any more details on the brief response to the allegations against Rogan.
Asked how Rogan was dealing with the allegations from the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) that she participated in the rigging of the 2016 elections, Maseko said she would be in a better position to give a personal reaction once she returns.
“At the moment, what we have in terms of the comment is what we have from the deputy spokesperson of the United Nations Secretary General. So far, that is what we have in terms of comment on that issue. So if there is any personal comment you would love to get from her, you would have to come and talk to her when she is back in office,” said Maseko.
“She is currently away, she has been away for other engagements. Even that time when the story broke she was already on her way out. I remember one of the newspapers carried a story saying she refused to meet the UPND [president Hakainde Hichilema] when she already had prior engagement out of the country. She is always media friendly, and she will be able to give you an interview when she is back.”