The fragile inclusive government faces imminent collapse if President Robert Mugabe recalls the country’s ambassador to Australia Jacqueline Zwambila who has come under fire for her alleged “undiplomatic” behaviour.
Zwambila allegedly stripped in front of embassy staff in Canberra a fortnight ago.
But Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Moses Mzila Ndlovu, yesterday said President Mugabe and Zanu-PF were looking for an opportunity to once again demonstrate they were in total control of the inclusive government.
“The next one to two weeks could be crucial for the inclusive government,” said Ndlovu.
“I have no doubt that a move to recall the ambassador could further sour relations currently at the lowest levels since the formation of the inclusive government.”
The Sadc mediation on Zimbabwe faltered again at the weekend after the bloc’s Organ on Politics, Defence and Security failed to meet.
All eyes were on the Sadc meeting to resolve the impasse in the shaky unity government, which has lurched from one crisis to another and is now hanging by the thread.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says he no longer sees eye-to-eye with President Mugabe and the former opposition leader has been avoiding Cabinet and traditional Monday meetings for the three principals since the tension started escalating last month.
Ndlovu said while Zwambila was nominated by PM Tsvangirai, President Mugabe as head of state made the appointments according to the country’s Constitution and therefore could fire her.
“Her letter of appointment was made by (President) Mugabe and it is entirely up to him to decide what course of action to take,” he said. “Obviously the other principals will be consulted but (President) Mugabe has the final say.”
He said the other two principals in government, PM Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, were already frustrated as they had never really enjoyed power since the inception of the coalition government.
The deputy minister said he was aware that investigations into Zwambila’s case were already underway to establish what really happened.
It is alleged that Zwambila stripped in front of three male embassy officials after accusing them of leaking information to the state-controlled Herald newspaper.
PM Tsvangirai accuses President Mugabe of violating the Global Political Agreement by re-appointing 10 provincial governors and ambassadors without consultation resulting in the ongoing stand-off that has virtually crippled the legislative agenda of the transitional government.