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Tutu resigns as Oxfam ambassador

By: stagedoorscribbler - February 19, 2018

Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Photograph by Hattie Miles

In the wake of the sex scandal engulfing Oxfam, Archbishop Desmond Tutu has resigned as an ambassador for the chairty.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner and tireless campaigner for social justice says he is  “deeply disappointed by allegations of immorality and possible criminality involving humanitarian workers” 

His resignation will come as a huge blow to a charity already reeling from the repercussions of claims that Oxfam workers paid locals for sex in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake.

The charity is facing allegations that it covered up a report on the scandal back in 2011.

Meanwhile Roland van Hauwermeiren, the charity's former director in Haiti, who resigned at the time insists the allegations are marred by lies and exaggerations.

With his long history of being at the forefront of humanitarian causes having a 86-year-old Desmond Tutu as supporter is seen as an international seal of approval.

He was not only a leading figure of the anti-apartheid struggle in his native South Africa but he is still a member of the influential Elders group which comprises key international figures and is currently chaired by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Tutu is not the first high-profile supporter to feel they can no longer ally themselves to Oxfam. Last week the actor Minnie Driver also resigned as an ambassador to the charity.

A statement fromTutu’s office said: “Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has supported Oxfam International’s good work for many years, most recently as one of its global ambassadors.

“The archbishop is deeply disappointed by allegations of immorality and possible criminality involving humanitarian workers linked to the charity.

“He is also saddened by the impact of the allegations on the many thousands of good people who have supported Oxfam’s righteous work.”