Mugabe to decide fate of MDC ambassadors

HARARE - Christopher Mutsvangwa, deputy minister of Foreign Affairs, has told Parliament that President Robert Mugabe will decide the fate of MDC-aligned ambassadors when their terms expire on July 31.

Mutsvangwa was responding to a question in the Senate by Chief Daster Chitsunga from Mashonaland Central Province on Thursday who wanted to know whether diplomats whose terms had expired would continue to serve.

“I would like to know what government policy is with regards to diplomats or ambassadors,” Chitsunga said.

“What does it say when the ambassador’s term has come to an end? Is it renewable at the mercy of the president or what? I need clarification.”

The MDC diplomats were deployed during the tenure of the inclusive government from 2009-2013.

“We had some peculiar circumstances which arose as we had a GNU where we had diplomats who served longer than the allocated three to four years,” Mutsvangwa said. “The reason was simple. If they had been recalled and we tried to replace them, there would have been bickering between the various ruling parties of that particular era.

“So, the head of State, in his wisdom, saw it fit to extend the terms of duty of those people until we get to the 31st of July, 2014, when a decision can be made by him, as the single ruling leader of the country.”

The five MDC diplomats are Hilda Suka Mafudze (Sudan), Hebson Makuvise (Germany), Gertrude Stevenson-Dickey (Senegal), Jacqueline Zwambila (Australia) and Mabed Ngulani (Nigeria). They all took up their posts in 2009.

Stevenson, Mafudze and Ngulani are still serving as diplomats, whilst Makuvise and Zwambila were recalled, with the latter opting to apply for a political asylum in Australia.

Mutsvangwa said the diplomats are sent to work as ambassadors by Mugabe who gave them diplomatic credentials to represent him and the country in foreign missions.

“An ambassador serves at the mercy of the head of State because you are a personal representative of the head of State,” Mutsvangwa said.

“So, if the head of State so feels that your term of duty can be extended in a particular place because it is in the interest of the country, then it can be extended.

“The sending of diplomats abroad, particularly ambassadors, is both a political and a professional undertaking on the part of a sovereign nation. It is a professional undertaking because diplomats are trained people who are there to serve their country abroad.” 

So far, over 30 ambassadors have been recalled by Mugabe since last year following the expiry of their four-year terms.

Zimbabwe has 45 world wide diplomatic missions, with five slots having been taken up by MDC during the tenure of GNU and the rest with Zanu PF members.


Comments (1)

Chengetai Zvauya, you write, "Zimbabwe has 45 world wide diplomatic missions, with five slots having been taken up by MDC during the tenure of GNU and the rest with Zanu PF members." Please get your facts right. The "rest" are not ZANU PF members. Yes there are a few ZANU PF members but the majority rose through the ranks

Ban'a - 15 July 2014

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