UPDATED: Government to reduce embassies

Lt Gen Dr Moyo (Rtd)

Lt Gen Dr Moyo (Rtd)

Herald Reporter—
Government has started mobilising resources to clear arrears in respect of salaries, rentals and other running costs for its various embassies around the globe as part of efforts to rebuild the country’s image, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Sibusiso Moyo has said. Tied to the ongoing efforts, Minister Moyo said, was a need for the country’s 46 diplomatic missions to perform and meet key result areas to justify their continued existence. This comes a month after Finance and Economic Planning Minister Patrick Chinamasa said President Mnangagwa had approved a plan to downsize the country’s diplomatic missions, taking into account Zimbabwe’s current economic environment and affordability.

The rationalisation of diplomatic missions, which also puts a ceiling on rental payments for diplomats, aims to balance the cost of maintaining missions and the business value they generate.

“We are reviewing the position of all embassies and it’s high time they must perform in a measurable manner. Government incurs a lot of costs in running embassies so they must justify their existence,” Minister Moyo told the Herald in an interview on Monday.

“Because of financial constraints, they can be served from elsewhere, we will also look into that, but the corporate and private sector should also help as they benefit from work derived from embassies. Embassy roles are underpinned by three functions: representing their country, negotiating bilateral deals or positions as well as handling disputes and exchanging relevant information between states.

“We have already started the rationalisation process and will advise in due course. We are rebuilding our image and rebranding the country,” he said, adding this would bring effectiveness as the country would be able to provide a fit-for-purpose service.

Minister Moyo said the country’s foreign policy derived from President Mnangagwa’s inaugural speech in which he emphasized the need to reengage and mend relations with the international community while creating jobs for the masses.

“Our foreign policy thrust is derived from His Excellency’s inaugural speech which talks about the need for Zimbabwe to rejoin the global community. As such, our responsibility is to manage external publics in the interest of Zimbabwe and to promote and protect the national interest of the country. Underlying this is the desire to ensure we bring technology and develop the political, economic, technological, legal and tourism environment,” said Minister Moyo.

He said the country’s foreign policy had a heavy bias towards the nation’s economic goals. He said Government had taken economic statecraft as one of the chief instruments to realize the country’s foreign policy objectives.

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  • Margaret Macneill

    I sincerely hope this means that the staff at the embassies will actually be able to assist people. When applying for information about returning to Zimbabwe as pensioners I was told they could not help and that I must contact Harare direct!

  • Sandura1

    They are generally lazy and stubborn , and the service costs are far too much. 300% or so.

  • Chihombori

    our embasies are as useless as the function of this foreign affairs ministry which has never brought any results except ensuring mugabes UN presence but not international business..all these embassies are full of military and central inteligence operatives who in the case of south Africa would hound zimbabwean students and hunt opposition figures ..downsize them ooh No close all and we choose important embassies ourselves as citizens ..

  • S shumba

    Comeon, just close the not-so-productive embassies for a start
    Long speeches dont brong food on the table. We rewiire ACTION

  • Moe_Scyslack2

    All Zim embassies are a waste of resources. Just shut them down and use the funds to rebuild our country that was ruined by biltong skin and marujata

  • Chamunorwa

    The London Embassy is a museum of rudeness, incompetence and arrogance. It does nothing.

  • greendove

    Lack of knowledge is a mental disease to those who underestimate work done by embassies. Heeee need to engage international community who has maintained the bridges nxaaa!!!

  • yowe

    This article is full of wish wash…Say zvinhu zviri concrete..EG out of 46 embassies we intend to close 10 and save X amount of money. Simple how can you ask the embassies to justify their existence?? How long will that take and what are the KPIs you will use to measure whether or not the embassy is useful?? Why do we need an Embassy in Senegal its a waste of money. Varai zvinhu izvo nyika haina mari.From the top of my head I can actually name the embassies we need.The rest haana basa this New Dispensation should stop talking and start making bold actions..Taneta nekuudzwa maplans isu YOWE!!!!!

    • shasha

      We dont even know in which countries these embassies are and even their number.

  • Zeet City FireDog

    I agree with you 100%, it really makes it discussion impossible.

  • Tendekayi.TE

    Zim Embassy in Kuwait is very helpful, please keep it. They assist Zimbabweans in UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and conduct regular consular visits, saving many of us trips to Zimbabwe to do things like renewing passports and all.

    • Chitsvori

      Justifying their existence first? There was a someone who was posted as diplomat to London for a few years and he came back after having used the idle time to study for a Ph D. Was appointed Cabinet Minister and now he is under arrest for abuse of office. Lets say that Dr was still in diplomatic service, what would he say if he was asked to justify the continued existence of the embassy?

  • SCOOBY DOO

    Vharai EMBASSY yekuMasvingo.staff yeko is very lazy

  • Shepherd Dhlamini

    My late sister had a nasty experience in the USA owing to this nepotism you are referring to