Zim Ambassador Jacqueline Zwambila asks Australia for asylum

via Zim Ambassador Jacqueline Zwambila asks Australia for asylum | SW Radio Africa December 27, 2013

Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Australia has lashed out at the regime of President Robert Mugabe and is seeking a protection visa that will allow her to stay in Australia.

Jacqueline Zwambila has asked the Australian government for asylum because she says she fears for her safety if she returns to Zimbabwe.

With four days remaining in the role, Ms Zwambila has moved out of her residence in the Canberra suburb of Red Hill. She has no intention of using the business-class plane ticket given to her by her government to return home on Tuesday.

Ms Zwambila will rely on a bridging visa after her diplomatic status is cancelled and a small number of family members who have been with her in Australia also hope to gain protection under her application.

Ms Zwambila, who is politically aligned to Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change, was recalled from her post without being offered another job after Mr Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party won the country’s general election on July 31.

On Friday, Ms Zwambila said Mr Mugabe and Zanu-PF had stolen the election and increased the number of arrests of MDC supporters on trumped-up charges.

The ambassador said she feared indefinite custody if she returned to Zimbabwe. She plans to pursue her activism from abroad.

Her request for protection and her public statement that the election was stolen ends a sunny period for Australia-Zimbabwe relations. During Ms Zwambila’s time as ambassador, Australia became a significant contributor of aid to Zimbabwe.

The ambassador’s criticism of the Mugabe regime comes as the Abbott government reviews foreign expenditure and plans to cut $4.5 billion in the projected increase of aid and development spending between now and 2016-17.

Since the Coalition took government in September, Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop has not updated Australia’s stance towards Zimbabwe.

The Coalition took a hard line under prime minister John Howard, who successfully lobbied for Zimbabwe to be excluded from the Commonwealth because of its human rights abuses, called off a cricket tour in 2007 and labelled Mr Mugabe a ”grubby dictator”.

Ms Bishop has front-line experience in Zimbabwe. In 2000 and 2002, as a federal MP, she visited Zimbabwe as part of a Commonwealth observer team and returned with stories of violence and intimidation by Mr Mugabe and his supporters.

”There was no freedom from fear,” Ms Bishop said in 2002.

Ms Zwambila’s father was an entrepreneur who started as a bookkeeper and became a developer. She said this was during an era when the highest an African could rise was to sell groceries, or become a teacher.

Ms Zwambila attended an elite multinational school, one which included white children. She said African students were excluded from taking part in sports such as netball. It was a lonely time, she said. There was no protection from racist teachers. She became a political activist, built a public relations business and is now a grandmother.

”I’ve had to fight the whole system,” she said when interviewed by Fairfax Media last year. ”I’m a fighter.”

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 11
  • comment-avatar
    Murimi wanhasi 7 years ago

    Oh pliz.
    Tsvangirai & Biti,Timba & the rest of the bunch are living it up here.
    I see that a “few” of her clan are hopin to be covered by the application,they r also under threat & have men in dark glasses following their relatives back home..kikikiki.

  • comment-avatar
    Murimi wanhasi 7 years ago

    She is a fighter,so she chooses to stay in racist Ausie,so that she can fight them..genius

  • comment-avatar
    mucha 7 years ago

    She enjoyed stripping in Australia. She wants to continue her strip-tease antics unfettered.

  • comment-avatar
    Tjingababili 7 years ago

    GOT A HUBBY! MAYBE!

  • comment-avatar
    Johnson@yahoo.com 7 years ago

    SHE IS VERY RIGHT. NO ONE WITH A CHOICE WANTS TO STAY IN NINHIKIST ZIMBABWE WHERE THE RULE OF LAW IS A PIPE DREAM. THE REVOLUTION FOR INDEPENDENCE CONTINUES IN ZIMBABWE. 1980 WAS A YEAR OF TRANSFER OF POWER TO AN INSENSITIVE SELF AGGRANDIZING ELITE. ZWAMBILA HAS GROUNDS TO BE AFRAID. ZANU PF FOUGHT FROM EXILE ALSO FOR ITS RIGHTS TO DISPOSSESS AND OPPRESS. IN ANY CASE WHY DO THEY WANT ZWAMBILA WHO IS MERELY EXPRESSING HER FEARS. WHAT SHE SAYS SHE FEARS IS NOT STRANGE IN ZIM. ZIM IS UNPREDICTABLE and abusive.I STAY THERE BUT I HAVE NO OPTION.ZWAMBILA HAS AN OPTION.

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    Africanson 7 years ago

    What does she have in terms of business and profession? It could be that she found it unpalatable to do any other work besides being an ambassador. Politics is a dirty game for sure.

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    Mr Mixed Race 7 years ago

    Why have adverse comments about her if you know that her claims are not true? You talk of people with dark glasses-so you are one of them causing fear to the poor lady.Leave her alone and mind your own business.You also talk of Australia as a racist country when its exercises itsn human rights principles to all people regardless of their colour of the skin,in this case its a black woman of Zimbabwe origin.What is wrong with that?I SUGGEST YOU TRAVEL TO THESE COUNTRIES BEFORE CRITISING THEM ON RACIAL GROUNDS,YOU WILL COME BACK CHANGED AND KNOWLEDGEABLE.I AM SURE THE EX-GOVERNOR OF RBZ WOULD HAVE NEVER SENT HIS CHILDREN THERE FOR EDUCATION,IF THAT COUNTRY WAS RACIST.Food for thought mister.

  • comment-avatar
    Mr Mixed Race 7 years ago

    ps-criticising

  • comment-avatar
    Africanson 7 years ago

    Anything about Zimbabwe is my business pfutseki

  • comment-avatar
    Mr Mixed Race 7 years ago

    Insults do not solve problems -they show limited power of reasoning.

  • comment-avatar

    Jacqueline Zwambila has every right to request political asylum in Australia because of this utterly bi-ased Zanu-PF system in Zimbabwe.