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France: Namibian embassy to the rescue as Zim envoy's car breaks down
13/02/2017 00:00:00
by Staff reporter
 
Foreign affairs minister ... Simbarashe Mumbengegwi
 
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ZIMBABWEAN diplomats in Europe are using battered cars with some relying on fellow African envoys’ transport to attend business, a government report has revealed.

One such diplomat is Rudo Mabel Chitiga, Zimbabwe’s ambassador to France

According to a recent report by the Parliamentary Portfolio on Foreign Affairs, to the speaker of Parliament, Jacob Mudenda, Chitiga’s car failed to start when she had visited a fellow African diplomat in Paris recently.

“The first incident involved our ambassador in Paris whose official car couldn’t start when she had visited her Namibian counterpart and was forced, under humiliating circumstances, to use the Namibian ambassador’s car back to her office. This is because the car she is using has already outlived its life span,” said the report.

The report said there were more “embarrassing” cases which Zimbabwe’s foreign embassies had reported to the committee.

“Another embarrassing story involves one of our Ambassadors who was being driven in an official car fitted with the national flag but was stopped by the police and asked to identify himself simply because  the car he was driving was not fit to be a diplomatic car,” the report said.

“Mr Speaker, these are just a few real incidences which our Ambassadors are daily subjected to during the course of their work in these foreign capitals,” the report further highlights.

The committee said their efforts to engage with the government over the state of  “our” missions, most of whom are facing evictions for failing to pay rentals, were fruitless as they were told that the treasury was equally broke.

For years now, Zimbabwean diplomats have complained about going for years without being paid. The foreign affairs ministry has repeatedly admitted before parliament that it was struggling to pay diplomats.



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