4 Zim embassies sued over rental arrears, bills

FOREIGN Affairs permanent secretary, Joey Bimha told legislators yesterday that at least four Zimbabwean embassies had been taken to court over rental arrears or failing to pay utility bills, a development that has severely dented the country’s international image.

Source: 4 Zim embassies sued over rental arrears, bills – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 26, 2016


Briefing members of the Foreign Affairs Parliamentary Committee about the ministry’s budgetary challenges and expectations in the 2017 National Budget, Bimha said Zimbabwe’s embassies in London (the United Kingdom), New York (the United States) and Hong Kong (China) had been taken to court for breach of contract on the payment of rentals.

He told the Kindness Paradza-led committee that some ambassadors had abandoned their official residences due to their state of disrepair, while Foreign Affairs ministry staff, both at home and abroad, were owed more than $15 million in salary arrears.

“In some missions, ambassadors in the aforementioned capitals have had to abandon official residences because they were no longer habitable,” Bimha said.

He said by December 31, 2016, Zimbabwe would have accumulated rental arrears of $6,2m this year alone, bringing its total rental debt to over $21m after factoring arrears for the past few years.

Bimha said Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa had already indicated to them that he would allocate the ministry $14,9m in the 2017 National Budget — a figure he said was way below their requirements.

Besides rental arrears, Bimha said Zimbabwe owed various international bodies its annual subscriptions amounting to $4m and was in arrears on rentals for the United Nations Development Programme Harare office amounting to $97 000.
“Due to budgetary constraints, Zimbabwe has had challenges in paying its assessed contributions to different international organisations, thereby, militating against the country’s full participation at meetings, including loss of voting rights, for instance G15, G77 and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido),” he said. “Zimbabwe has also not been able to fully participate in some bilateral and international meetings due to financial constraints.”

Zimbabwe has 45 missions and 39 of them are headed by ambassadors, while the rest are run by consul-generals.
Bimha said due to lack of resources, the government had to reduce diplomats’ salaries by 10% to 15%, as part of measures to mitigate the crisis.


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    Zimbabwe has 45 overseas missuons, how many did Rhodesia have ?