Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
President Mugabe has started selecting people to fill 20 diplomatic posts that were left vacant by ambassadors recalled on December 31 last year. The President appoints ambassadors to represent him abroad in his capacity as Head of State and Government. In an interview yesterday, Foreign Affairs secretary Ambassador Joey Bimha said the selection process would include people serving in the ministry of Foreign Affairs who are mostly career diplomats, the private sector and the entire Government service.
He said the new ambassadors would be deployed to the various missions soon after the completion of the selection process.
“The President is in the process of selecting 20 ambassadors to fill the vacant posts,” he said.
“The ministry of Foreign Affairs may provide the bulk of the number because we have many career diplomats here but the President selects people from the entire Government and even from the private sector.”
Ambassador Bimha did not give timelines as to when the selection process would be completed saying it was the prerogative of the President.
Among the recalled 20 ambassadors are Zimbabwe’s top diplomat in Washington, Ambassador Machivenyika Mapuranga, and his counterpart in Cairo, Ambassador Aaron Mabhoyi Ncube.
Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Germany Mr Hebson Makuvise and his counterpart Ms Jacqueline Zwambila (Australia) — both seconded by the MDC-T during the tenure of the inclusive Government were also recalled.
However, Ms Zwambila resolved to seek political asylum in Canberra claiming it was not safe for her to return to Harare.
All the recalled envoys are expected home by the end of March.
Ambassadors serve four-year terms that can be renewed depending on foreign policy considerations.
Contrary to claims by some people, the recalls did not target ambassadors seconded by MDC-T or those from the MDC.
This was proved by the retaining of Ambassadors Trudy Stevenson (Senegal) and Ms Hilda Suka-Mafudze (Sudan) Ms Mabel Ngulani (Nigeria) from MDC and MDC-T respectively.
Recalling of ambassadors is a routine exercise that any Government does at any given point in time.