President Robert Mugabe has recalled six ambassadors posted to foreign Zimbabwean missions.
Joey Bimha, permanent secretary in the ministry of Foreign Affairs, yesterday in a telephone interview said the six diplomats had finished their tour of duty. The envoys are expected back home soon.
“We have six ambassadors who are coming back and this is a follow up as the first group of diplomats came back in January and the second batch in April and this is the final group which is now coming back,” Bimha said.
He declined to name the diplomats, saying the announcement will be made when they are back home.
Bimha said Mugabe would determine the fate of MDC diplomats who were deployed during the tenure of the inclusive government between 2009 and 2013.
The five MDC diplomats are Hilda Suka-Mafudze (Sudan), Hebson Makuvise (Germany), Gertrude Stevenson-Dickey (Senegal), Jacqueline Zwambila (Australia) and Maberd Ngulani (Nigeria).
Stevenson-Dickey and Mafudze are still serving as diplomats, whilst Ngulani, Makuvise and Zwambila were recalled. Zwambila has since applied for political asylum in Australia.
“When they are representing the country, they are ambassadors of the country, not representing a political party, so ambassadors Stevenson and Suka-Mafudze are our diplomats,” Bimha clarified.
Bimha said a diplomat cannot serve in a particular country continuously.
“Generally, the years have been reduced to between three and four years before you are moved,” Bimha said.
Zimbabwe has 45 diplomatic missions worldwide, with five slots having been taken up by the MDC during the tenure of the inclusive government, and the rest allocated to Zanu PF members.