Telephone lines at the Zimbabwean embassy in the United States have reportedly been disconnected over outstanding bills, while embassy officials at over 10 overseas missions have been given eviction orders at their places of residence over the same issue. Senior government officials, who declined to be named, confirmed the developments. “The phones were cut off last week and the embassy workers were given eviction notices because the Zimbabwe government has been failing to pay rentals and other bills,” a senior government official, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisals, said. Foreign Affairs deputy minister Edgar Mbwembwe said he was unaware of the development, while permanent secretary Joey Bimha was unavailable for comment. Rentals have also not been paid for the personal residences of ambassadors in most of the country’s foreign missions, with some having bills of more than $30 000. So dire has been the situation such that in France, the ambassador and senior staffers are often forced to use public transport because of technical problems with his 18-year-old official vehicle.
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