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Ambassador Zwambila is mad: Mutasa

By TENDAI KAMHUNGIRA AND LLOYD MBIBA

HARARE – Zanu PF has scoffed at claims made by outgoing Zimbabwean ambassador to Australia Jacqueline Zwambila, who is seeking asylum claiming that she will not be safe if she returns to the country.

Jacqueline Zwambila has asked the Australian government for asylum
Jacqueline Zwambila has asked the Australian government for asylum

The party’s secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa yesterday said Zwambila was “mad”.

“She should tell us what she is afraid of,” Mutasa who is also minister of Presidential Affairs said.

Zwambila is a member of the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC and was appointed ambassador during the country’s four year coalition government.

But with the dissolution of the coalition government following Zanu PF’s victory in the July 31 heavily-contested harmonised elections, most MDC officials appointed as envoys in different parts of the world have been recalled.

Only two non-Zanu PF ambassadors Trudy Stevenson, who is posted in Dakar, Senegal, and Hilda Mafudze, Zimbabwe’s top diplomat in Khartoum, Sudan retained their posts, while Zwambila, Hebson Makuvise (Germany) and Mabhedi Ngulane (Nigeria) failed to survive the chop.

Zwambila has since applied for asylum in Australia, claiming her life will not be safe if she returns to Zimbabwe.

“I am not going to be returning to Zimbabwe. Once elections of 31 July were stolen by the current government, which is illegitimate, I knew that this is the end of the line for a lot of things, end of the life for the people of Zimbabwe, because their will has not been done, once more again, the end of the life for people like me, who were appointed or rather nominated by the ex-prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai, as I belong to his party,” Zwambila said.

Zwambila said she feared for her life, and would rather stay in Australia.

“Basically, for me to return after so many things have been done to me, since I have been here in Australia, the smear campaigns and the threats about my being, there is no way I will feel safe to be in Zimbabwe,” she said.

However, Mutasa said Zwambila should explain what she did wrong that warranted her persecution.

Foreign Affairs Permanent secretary Joey Bimha said Zwambila should not tarnish the country’s image to satisfy her personal interests.

“If she wants to stay there, she must do so without lying or putting the name of the country in disrepute. She is safe here just as any MDC official or Zimbabwean is,” Bimha said.

Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi told the public media that Zwambila’s antics were mere cheap politicking.

“Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but her remarks are surprising because all the leaders of the MDC-T are here. Some of them are members of our Parliament,” Mohadi said, adding that there was no reason for Zwambila to be afraid of returning home.

“We grant security to everyone. Our mandate is to ensure that law and order is there. If she is threatened by anyone, she should tell us as we are responsible for security here as central Government,” Mohadi said. Daily News

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