BY SILAS NKALA
OPPOSITION Zapu has accused the ruling Zanu PF party of blocking the opening of consular posts in Bulawayo.
This was said by Zapu deputy secretary for international relations, Future Msebele, who claimed that Zanu PF had a deliberate policy to alienate the southern region of the country from international spotlight and to marginalise it.
Recently, the United States embassy’s consular section chief Alex Ave-Lallemant, on behalf of ambassador Brian Nichols, turned down a request by Zapu for embassies to open posts in Bulawayo after Msebele had written to all embassies in Harare asking them to open new consular posts in Bulawayo in order to promote devolution.
Msebele had argued that this would ensure accessibility to consular services by people in the Matabeleland region, as well as enable them to have commercial and political engagements.
Only the US embassy responded, saying the decision needed to be made by the government of Zimbabwe.
Msebele then blamed the Zanu PF government of making it difficult for diplomatic missions to operate in Bulawayo.
“The Zanu PF government has made it difficult for embassies to open up consulates in other major cities. Zanu PF is afraid to give power to the people because they are protecting their corrupt activities. They are treating the country like their private playground,” he said.
“We call upon all pressure groups, interest groups and progressive non-governmental organisations to join us in our noble call. We request all embassies to engage the government and open consulates in Bulawayo. Consular services should be accessible to the majority of our people.”
Msebele said they would continue to engage strategic partners like South Africa and Botswana to push for consular offices in Bulawayo.
“By refusing to implement devolution, Zanu PF just substituted white leaders with black oppressors,” he said.
Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo dismissed the accusations, saying the ruling party was not involved in government business.
“This is government business, where is Zanu PF coming into this? Zanu PF is not involved in government business, they should approach the government directly,” Moyo said.