Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter
The British government has appointed Ms Melanie Robinson as Ambassador to Zimbabwe to succeed Ms Catriona Laing with effect from January next year.
In a Press statement yesterday, the British government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office said Ms Laing will be transferring to another diplomatic service appointment.
“Ms Melanie Robinson has been appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of Zimbabwe in succession to Ms Catriona Laing who will be transferring to another Diplomatic Service appointment,” said the British government.
“Ms Robinson will take up her appointment in January 2019.”
Ms Robinson is the current World Bank Group, Washington Director for the United Kingdom.
Ms Laing has been appointed as the new British High Commissioner to Nigeria. Her new appointment will be from November, 1 2018.
She presented her credentials to former president Mr Robert Mugabe at State House in 2014.
Ms Laing has been instrumental in the re-engagement process between Harare and London.
She has overseen a major policy shift of the British government regarding Zimbabwe, as she has been involved in the re-engagement process.
Unlike previous British ambassadors who were accused of being opposition apparatchiks, Ms Laing confined herself to diplomatic work.
Ms Laing’s lack of enthusiasm in the opposition earned her a lot of wrath from opposition party functionaries and officials that felt as though they had been politically divorced.