By Tichaona Sibanda
Hebson Makuvise, the outgoing Zimbabwe ambassador to Germany, has denied claiming asylum in that country, saying he’s going back home after his four year stint in Berlin.
The envoy from the MDC-T laughed at reports he was not going back to Zimbabwe, telling SW Radio Africa on Thursday that he has packed all his stuff and was waiting for the plane tickets.
“All that you are reading in the papers is fiction. I don’t know where the story originated from that I’ve claimed asylum in Germany but what I’m telling you is the truth. I’m going home and as I said I’m just waiting for my air tickets,” Makuvise said.
Reports in newspapers and online websites this week claimed that Makuvise, 61, applied for political asylum in Germany, becoming the second MDC-T envoy to seek asylum after Jacqueline Zwambila in Australia.
Zwambila has confirmed seeking asylum in Canberra, claiming her life was in danger if she returned to Zimbabwe. The envoy added that she endured a campaign of “psychological warfare” as the ambassador to Australia during nearly four years in office.
Zwambila claimed that going to work at the embassy was like “walking in to the lions’ den”. She said one staff member wrote to the President’s office accusing her of seeking sex with a butler and of taking her clothes off in front of staff.
“I was accused of conniving with former Rhodesian forces… my communications were hacked. I became a prisoner… while I tried to do my job.”
The recalled ambassadors are expected in back in Zimbabwe this month. After the July 31st elections last year, the ruling ZANU PF party recalled 18 envoys.
Makuvise and Zwambila along with Mabel Ngulani (Nigeria), Hilda Mafudze (Sudan) and Trudy Stevenson (Senegal) were seconded to the foreign affairs ministry by the MDC’s after the parties joined ZANU PF in a shaky coalition government after the disputed 2008 vote.
However Mafudze (MDC-T) and Stevenson (of the Welshman Ncube MDC) were not among the 18 ambassadors recalled by President Robert Mugabe in November. SW Radio Africa