Archive for Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Australia, Jacqueline Zwambila, has been accused of sexual harassment by her butler. Felix Machiridza also says he has been punished by the MDC-appointed ambassador because he spurned her sexual advances. In an e-mail to the Sunday Times, Machiridza listed his grievances, which include being forced to pick up used condoms in Zwambila’s son’s room. “I have been pushed to the brink of the precipice and I feel I should cry out in order to get some respite,” he wrote, adding that he had received threats if the story came out in the press. Last year, Zwambila was accused of stripping in front of embassy staff in a rage. She was briefly called home but was allowed back after investigations into the incident failed to provide tangible evidence. The father of four has worked for Zwambila for more than a year. “OnMarch 27 2010, Ms Zwambila called me on my mobile at10.30pmand asked me to bring Coke to her room. I was already in bed and I obediently went upstairs to the kitchen, poured the Coke and took it to her room. I knocked on her door and she asked me to come in. I was shocked to see her half-dressed, sitting on her bed.” He says she said: “Come and give me my Coke. Why do you behave as if you have never been with a woman before?” Machiridza says he was also invited to occupy a room next to hers at the ambassador’s official residence inCanberra. In retribution, he has “been made to work extra-long days without overtime, been ridiculed and insulted, including being shouted at and has been called all kinds of demeaning names. He has also been removed from the cottage and lived for almost a year in the garage room and been threatened with deportation to Zimbabwe”. “I am almost certain that my abuse by Ms Zwambila was retribution for refusing to bend to her seduction,” he says. After several letters appealing for fair treatment, last month he asked for his contract to be terminated. Several attempts to get comment from Zwambila failed as she dropped calls. Joey Bimha, permanent secretary in the ministry of foreign affairs confirmed receiving the report. “We received a complaint from the butler. We are investigating. I have spoken to the ambassador and we have given her an opportunity to respond. After the investigations, the ministry can take a position.”
Ambassador to Australia Jacqueline Zwambila failed to sue embassy staff in Canberra, who accused her of stripping naked in their presence last year, since the officials are protected by diplomatic immunity. This comes after the ambassador, from the MDC-T party, successfully sued an Australian paper over the same story. The paper paid her A$65 000 after they agreed to an out-of-court settlement. She then reportedly wanted the embassy staff that she manages to be tried in Australian courts for allegedly tarnishing her image. However, Foreign Affairs Secretary Ambassador Joey Bimha said although his officers were yet to formally update him on the latest developments, the officials could not be tried in foreign courts. According to sources in Canberra, Ambassador Zwambila is suing the officials for stories published in the media in Harare and Australia. It was reported last year that Ambassador Zwambila stripped naked after accusing embassy staff of leaking information to The Herald about an anti-Government website that she was running.
The official car of the German ambassador to Zimbabwe, Albrecht Conze, was attacked in suburban Harare earlier this week, the diplomat disclosed, saying he was not injured. The driver of the car with its official diplomatic plates, had stopped briefly at an intersection when an assailant emerged from the tall grass at the side of the road and tried to smash the rear window next to where he was sitting, he told the German Press Agency dpa. Conze believed the assailant wanted to rob him, but did not exclude the possibility the attack was politically motivated. The envoy is known to have roused the ire of officials in President Robert Mugabe”s ZANU(PF) party after he published an article in the local independent press charging Mugabe with racist rhetoric and with corruption in the nationalization of the economy. Mugabe has vowed to effect legislation that gives him the power to seize 51 percent of all white- or foreign-owned companies with assets of more than 500,000 US dollars and give them to black Zimbabweans.
Britain has sent a formal diplomatic complaint to Harare to protest the harassment of its diplomat Sarah Bennett by ruling Zanu (PF) supporters in Mutasa rural area in Manicaland. The British embassy said president Robert Mugabe’s party bused-in protesters to a mission hospital in the east of the country where the diplomat, second secretary Sarah Bennett, was handing over British-funded hospital equipment. Demonstrators mobbed local officials and visiting dignitaries, demanding the lifting of western sanctions targeted at Mugabe and his ruling elite. It was “deeply depressing” the project was subjected to party propaganda, the statement said. No violence was reported, but the incident came amid rising tensions and a new upsurge in political violence across Zimbabwe ahead of elections due later this year. British ambassador Mark Canning said that Britain had spent more than $100 million (£60m) in aid for local communities in Zimbabwe last year. And he dismissed claims that visa, business and banking sanctions on Mugabe and his Zanu (PF) party by Britain and the European Union had hurt Zimbabweans as a whole.
Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Australia who was last month recalled to Harare after she allegedly stripped in front of embassy staff, has returned to her post. Ms Jacqueline Zwambila was reinstated after meetings with the minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, who has reportedly exonerated her of any wrongdoing. Three men embassy officials, who claimed the ambassador stripped in front of them, have been recalled. The case mirrored the disagreements in the unity government between President Robert Mugabe and his former rivals as the officials were accused of leaking sensitive information to the state-controlled media. Ms Zwambila is a member of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and there were claims that she was being victimised for her political affiliation. “Ambassador Zwambila went back to Canberra on Friday,” said Mr Jameson Timba, a minister in the Prime Minister’s Office was quoted as having said on Wednesday.
Wednesday, 10 February 2010, 13:00
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000093
AF/S FOR BRIAN WALCH
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR MICHELLE GAVIN
ADDIS FOR USAU
EO 12958 DECL: 2020/02/10
TAGS PREL, PGOV, ZI
SUBJECT: XXXXXXXXXXXX’s observations on the political landscape and
REF: HARARE 87; HARARE 36
CLASSIFIED BY: Charles A. Ray, Ambassador, STATE, EXEC; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)
1. (SBU) Pol/econ chief met February 9 with XXXXXXXXXXXX offered his observations on various topics including the state of ZANU-PF, indigenization, and elections.
2. (C) ZANU-PF. XXXXXXXXXXXX described the party as badly fractured. It was like a stick of TNT, susceptible to ignition and disintegration. ZANU-PF was holding together because of the threat of MDC-T and foreign pressure. He likened ZANU-PF to a troop of baboons incessantly fighting among themselves, but coming together to face an external threat. New leadership was essential and would emerge as some of the old timers, including Robert Mugabe, left the scene. XXXXXXXXXXXX opined that Vice President Joice Mujuru or S.K. Moyo (former ambassador to South African and now party chair) were possibilities, although Mujuru’s fear of Mugabe was affecting her ability to lead.
(C) XXXXXXXXXXXX’s comments on ZANU-PF are representative of a large part of the party. There is little doubt that if a secret party election were held, Mugabe and his inner circle would lose their positions. But Mugabe, aided by the securocrats and through fear, still has control. On sanctions and ZDERA, most ZANU-PF members, even moderates, tell us they believe sanctions, especially on parastatals, and ZDERA have hurt the economy (though they cannot cite evidence for this claim). XXXXXXXXXXXX’s view is more nuanced than most. XXXXXXXXXXXX’s view on ZDERA is what many in the MDC-T have been telling us: It is serving no real purpose other than to provide a convenient whipping boy for ZANU-PF. END COMMENT RAY
Zimbabwe ambassador to Australia, Jacqueline Zwambila, has returned to her posting in Canberra Australia, after she was recalled recently for debriefing in Harare. Zwambila was facing allegations that she stripped in front of male embassy staff, accusations she has vehemently denied. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has now recalled the three male staffers because they’ve completed their required four year terms at the mission. ‘Ambassador Zwambila had a meeting today (Wednesday) with the Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, to explain in detail what was happening at the embassy because of persistent squabbles between her and junior staff,’ a source told us. The three male staffers are reportedly all loyal to ZANU PF, while the ambassador is one of five diplomats appointed around the world from the MDC. While the other four ambassadors have good working relationships with their junior staff members, it was not the same for Zwambila in Canberra, where the male staffers were hostile and went on a sustained campaign to discredit her. ‘The relationship between the Ambassador and her staff was irretrievably broken down by persistent leaks from inside the embassy that sought to undermine and discredit her. Most of these leaks eventually found their way into the state media, a situation which infuriated her. This led to a heated confrontation with the male staffers,’ the source added.
Rights groups in South Africa have accused Zimbabwe consular officials in that of ‘robbing’ many Zimbabweans, desperately trying to get passports to avoid deportation. Undocumented Zimbabweans in South Africa have been given until the end of the year to regularise their stay in the country, or face deportation. Critical to getting the permits allowing them to stay is proof of Zimbabwean citizenship, in the form of a passport. The documentation process has resulted in confusion among the tens of thousands of Zimbabweans trying to get the right paperwork, and reports of corruption have marred the process further. SW Radio Africa was told that consular officials have been refusing to issue passports until bribes are paid. There are also reports that some Nigerian nationals, with money to spend on bribes, have managed to secure Zimbabwean passports ahead of regular Zimbabweans.
Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Australia Jacquline Zwambila has been recalled to Harare for debriefing after she allegedly stripped naked in front of embassy staff in Canberra. Ms Zwambila, a nominee of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai arrived back home after she was served with an ultimatum from the Foreign Affairs ministry. She reportedly met senior officials from her Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party and was to appear before her superiors. Last week, state media reported that Ms Zwambila had stripped to her undergarments after accusing three embassy officials of leaking information.
The South African Embassy in Zimbabwe has moved to terminate employment contracts of 15 consular clerks because the lifting of visa restrictions on Zimbabwean passport holders seeking to travel to South Africa had rendered them redundant. The clerks are contesting the retrenchment on the grounds that the move was not justified and also that the retrenchment packages offered were inadequate. The embassy employs a total of 25 locally-recruited personnel at the consular section and out of these, one is a secretary and the rest are consular clerks. The proposed retrenchment of the locals is a direct result of the memorandum of agreement (MOU) signed last year between the department of Home Affairs of South Africa and the Ministry of Home Affairs in Zimbabwe. According to the government of South Africa, the lifting of visa restrictions on Zimbabwean passport holders seeking entry into that country for up to 90 days and the implementation of the MOU resulted in the reduction of work within the consular section.