Mugabe to decide ambassadors fate


THE fate of five ambassadors from the two MDC formations which suffered heavy losses in the recent harmonised elections lies in President Robert Mugabe’s hands, a senior government official has said.

Dumisani Sibanda
Assignments Editor

As part of the power-sharing arrangement in the previous inclusive government, Trudy Stevenson from the MDC led by the Welshman Ncube formation was posted as ambassador to Senegal while four officials from MDC-T, Mabed Ngulani, Hilda Fuka, Jacqueline Zwambila and Herbson Makusive were deployed in the same capacity to Nigeria, Sudan, Australia and Germany respectively.

Following the recent election in which Zanu PF won a clear majority, the inclusive government was dissolved amid speculation the five diplomats would be recalled by Mugabe after naming his Cabinet.

However, in an interview on Sunday, Foreign Affairs ministry permanent secretary Joey Bimha said they had not received any instruction from Mugabe to recall the five diplomats who were nominated by the two MDC formations.

But he pointed out that once a person is appointed an ambassador they become Zimbabwe’s representative in that country where they would have been posted.

“In that capacity you serve every Zimbabwean regardless of political affiliation,” Bimha said. “The ambassadors usually sign contracts for four years and at its expiry they might be recalled or have their contracts renewed. But it’s the same way as when the President appoints a Cabinet, you can be recalled at any time. You are there at the mercy of His Excellency (Mugabe).”

He said the contracts of the five ambassadors from the two MDC formations had not expired as their four-year terms lapse next year.

“Their contracts expire sometime next year and His Excellency (Mugabe) has not given us any instructions and so they continue in office,” Bimha said.

“As I said His Excellency can re-call an ambassador at any time he pleases.”

Ex-Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC has disputed the Zanu PF electoral victory and its Members of Parliament boycotted Mugabe’s official opening of the Eighth Parliament as a way of protesting the alleged rigging of the elections.

Efforts to get a comment from MDC-T’s secretary for international relations Jameson Timba were fruitless yesterday as he was not reachable on his mobile phone.