MPs call for Mumbengegwi’s head over decay at Zim embassies

via MPs call for Mumbengegwi’s head over decay at Zim embassies – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 16, 2016

OPPOSITION MPs yesterday called for Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi’s scalp, accusing him of running down the ministry and being a disservice to the country’s foreign diplomatic missions.


The MPs made the call after they were shown embarrassing slide shows of the decay at Zimbabwean embassies in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Gaborone, Botswana.

Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs Kindness Paradza (Zanu PF) displayed the embarrassing pictures of the embassy in Ethiopia showing a leaking roof, naked electrical cables in some rooms, broken window panes, paint on walls peeling off and very archaic computers and vehicles.

Pictures of the Zimbabwean embassy were juxtaposed with modern-looking embassies of other countries such as Chad, Malawi, Rwanda, Gambia and Equatorial Guinea in Ethiopia.

“The committee noted with profound sadness that the embassy buildings in the two countries are in such a deplorable state of dilapidation to the extent that they are actually unsuitable for human habitation and occupancy,” Paradza said.

“At both embassies, visitors are greeted by cracked and crumbling walls, which at best resemble an abandoned building.

“Meanwhile, our embassy continues to rent the official residence of the ambassador at a cost of $4 500 per month totalling $54 000 per year.

“Monthly rentals for the 10 houses occupied by diplomats are $27 300 ($327 600 per year) and rental arrears stood at $89 400. In Gaborone, Ambassador Thomas Mandigora’s utility vehicle was bought in 2000 when Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko was still ambassador.”

MDC legislator Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (Proportional Representation) proposed closure of some embassies, adding some of the vehicles issued to ministers should be repossessed and given to embassy officials at foreign missions.

Kuwadzana East MP Nelson Chamisa and James Maridadi (Mabvuku-Tafara) — both MDC-T — described the embassies as a reflection of the poor state of affairs in the country, adding Mumbengegwi must be immediately fired for incompetence.

The Leader of the House, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, assured MPs that government was working on the matter.

Meanwhile, Mnangagwa, who also oversees the Justice ministry, said a number of laws such as the Marriage Act, Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act and the Children’s Act would be amended to outlaw child marriages.


  • comment-avatar
    Joe Cool 6 years ago

    Why pick on Mumbengegwi? Government buildings all over Zim display broken windows, leaking roofs and peeling paint -where there is any paint left to peel, and naked wires are not a danger when there is no electricity to flow through them. We have cracked and crumbling walls all over the place, and the High Court boasts a smart looking sign that says “Door broken – use other one”. Anyone seen a government building with more than 50% of the vinyl flooring tiles still intact?

    So let’s not blame someone here for what is happening in far away lands.

  • comment-avatar
    3n3rgy synergy 6 years ago

    Yet we are made to pay ridiculous amounts like R50 to certify just a single copy of Zim originating documents. What do they do with the money?

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    chitovatova 6 years ago

    The solution lies in rationalizing and streamling the foreign service in keeping with our national economic capacity.The world over, even big economies are trimming their Embassy staff by collapsing their hierarchical structures to produce “short” as opposed to “tall” organisational hierachies.For example a tall organisational structure may have Ambassador at the top followed byDeputyAmbassador,Counsellor(Political),Counsellor(Economic/Commercial),First Secretary(Political),First Secretary(Consular), Second Secretary and Third Secretary ,plus a couple of locally recruited staff.
    An ideal Embassy for an economically weak state like Zimbabwe should have an Ambassador, a First Secretary and support staff who are locally recruited(short structure).Foreign service, by its nature the world over is about style, class and largesse on behalf of your country.A good image of diplomats reflects the state of their country and vice versa.Therefore our diplomatic representation abroad should, as much as possible, reflect our national capacity.Lets get real!

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      Tsotsi 6 years ago

      ‘Reflect our national capacity’? That would mean embassies that are housed in the local taxi rank. Zimbabwe is a joke, even in pretty absurd company like other failed African nations. The solution is not in foreign mission structure, but dosmetic reform, like bring back competent government. I.e. Put a few more Whites in charge…..