By Pretty Chavango
In a feisty moment in Parliament yesterday Member of Parliament for Kuwadzana East Honourable Nelson Chamisa called for the dismissal of Minister of Foreign Affairs Honourable Simbarashe Mumbengegwi accusing him of incompetence and lack of progress during the 11 years he has been in office.
These attacks came after Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio committee Honourable Kindness Paradza presented before Parliament photographs of a visibly dilapidated Zimbabwean embassy in Addis Ababa Ethiopia. The committee which had gone to visit Zimbabwean embassies in Ethiopia and Botswana came back with sad news of the embarrassing state of affairs at these embassies. According to Hon Paradza the Zimbabwean embassy in Ethiopia which he described as resembling that of an abandoned child, has a cracked roof with several leakages, outdated machinery and is so small such that the Ambassador has to receive delegates in his office as there was no board room.
The situation is far less from better in Botswana where the current Ambassador Mandigora is using a vehicle bought in 2000 when the now Vice President Mphoko was still ambassador . Hon Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga who was part of the committee delegation echoed his sentiments saying these diplomats worked committedly despite their conditions arguing this was not patriotism rather it was violation of human rights.
“There is a musty smelly hanging at the Ethiopian embassy , making it hard to breathe , Addis Ababa is the centre of Pan Africanism and it is a national embarrassment that our own embassy still uses antique machinery , security files at the embassy in Botswana risk being stolen as they are stored in outdated computers .” said Misihairambwi .
According to Hon Paradza the Ethiopian government even offered Zimbabwe a stand to build their embassy but 17 years later the stand is now overgrown with grass standing isolated among other beautiful embassies of small countries like Rwanda.
“The state of affairs at our embassies is a scandal.” said Hon Paradza
Hon Chamisa described the state of these embassies as a reflection of our country’s internal affairs.
“What you are seeing is who we are , the Minister responsible Mumbengegwi never reports to Parliament saying he is busy , doing what ?. He should be fired; MP’s should unite to see that Mumbengegwi is relieved of his duties, what has he been doing since coming into office in 2005? , look at our embassies. “Said Chamisa
As it stand diplomats at these embassies risk being evicted from their houses over rental arrears standing at $89.400 as of December 21.
These diplomats also have outstanding salaries of 258 plus thousand (Ethiopia) and 242 plus thousand in Botswana
By Pretty Chavango