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Recalled diplomat remains anchored in Australia

By Moses Chamboko

“It is homeland or death” is a footnote associated with a regular columnist who enjoys the privilege of acres of space in state media despite the nature and substance of his contributions, for as long as they are perceived “revolutionary” or “anti-neo-colonialism”.

Beatrice Nyamupinga
ZANU PF MP Beatrice Nyamupinga the wife of Felix Nyamupinga

In fact, such writings will never be complete without an attack on the MDC or its leadership. Impeccable sources suggest the writer often pens his articles from the comfort of Bondi Beach. But I digress.

Back to my point; in the past few days, I was petrified when I learnt, through very reliable sources, that the former counsellor to the Zimbabwe Embassy in Canberra, Mr. Felix Nyamupinga, husband to Beatrice Nyamupinga, remains anchored in Canberra despite completing his lengthy tour of duty after which he was eventually recalled to Harare.

It is said that his itinerary would have seen him fly out of the lucky country, as Australia is affectionately known by its proud citizens, not later than the end of January 2012 and report for duty in Harare thereafter.

As I write, the former diplomat is said to be making frantic efforts to ensure he and his children remain in Australia for as long as it takes. It is alleged he has approached a number of authorities with the view to regularise his extended stay despite the fact that he should be in Sunshine City by now.

This, coming at a time when another Felix caused euphoria in Canberra and across the world after he implicated the Zimbabwe Ambassador to Australia in a well choreographed smear campaign that has since died a natural death, could not go unnoticed.

Those in the know, say that Felix Machiridza, the “butler” who now allegedly refers to himself as former ambassadorial advisor on various platforms, is also in the process of extending his stay in Australia through asylum or whatever means.

These two related incidents prompt critical questions one of which is “what has happened to the doctrine there is no place like home?” Why is it that even those who religiously believe that the Western world stands for nothing but homosexuality would rather remain in those countries than go home and enjoy the privilege of their multiple farms as well as the comfort of luxurious homes in some of the most affluent suburbs?

Isn’t this tantamount to demonising one’s own country? What do host countries think when they see former diplomats fighting or begging to stay using a bridging or humanitarian visa? Assuming most of these officers have farms back home, aren’t’ we seeing a return to the insidious notion of absentee landlords?

What is the ministry of Foreign Affairs’ policy on former diplomats who downgrade their status at the end of their postings just because they can’t contemplate taking their kids to a country known for high unemployment, frequent power cuts, dangerous potholes, poor education, dilapidated health delivery and collapsed social services as a result of three decades of misgovernance?

Using their wealth of foreign experience, isn’t it these officers who should lead orat least facilitate the transition to democratic tenets and values that will make ours a better society in future?

If an MDC-aligned former diplomat hesitates to return to Zimbabwe when recalled, it would probably be understandable given realities obtaining on the ground but not those who say “it is homeland or death” One hopes this deplorable practice does not unfortunately develop fully into a new form of post-diplomatic etiquette – PDE.

I could not end this contribution without making reference to the recent national drama regarding promotion and re-appointment of securocrats.

Reading The Herald on Thursday 9th February where principals are said to have confirmed that they met and agreed on the way forward, one would have been forgiven for thinking that a story in the next issue of The Herald on Friday 10th February where George Charamba came out literally fuming was scripted, edited and printed on the moon.

The two accounts were so diametrically opposed that the nation must be wondering if indeed the wheels have come off the so-called inclusive government.

One gets the sad and chilling impression that civilian authority no longer subsists in Zimbabwe. Charamba and Jonathan Moyo, who both disguise themselves as Nathaniel Manheru, seem to be fighting for serious positions in a quasi-civilian government episode with Tomana playing the narrator.

The road ahead seems rocky and thorny but Zimbabweans will never give up.

The writer Moses Chamboko can be reached on [email protected]