HomeLocal NewsD-day for ‘stripping’ ambassador

D-day for ‘stripping’ ambassador


Jacqueline Zwambila, Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Australia, will on Wednesday know her fate after meeting Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi.

Zwambila was recalled to Harare last month after she allegedly stripped in front of three male staff members following a heated exchange over leakages of information from the embassy to government-controlled newspapers.

The allegations caused a stand-off between MDC-T senior government officials and their colleagues in Zanu PF with the former threatening to walk out of the coalition should Zwambila be treated unfairly.

It also emerged night that the three male staffers at the Zimbabwean embassy in Australia who complained the ambassador stripped in front of them have been recalled to Harare under unclear circumstances.

Efforts to get comment from the minister were fruitless.

The acting permanent secretary in the ministry, Ngoni Sengwe, was not cooperative, saying he did not want to talk to journalists about the issue.

“I am not talking to reporters about this,” he said through his secretary.

But Ian Makone, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s confidante and chief secretary to the Premier, on Tuesday night confirmed Zwambila would meet Mumbengegwi today regarding the issue.

Other senior MDC-T and government officials, however, said the diplomat was most likely to head back to Australia after meeting the minister.
But what has raised eyebrows was the recalling of the three staffers from the embassy under unclear circumstances.

Sources in the Foreign Affairs ministry said the three were likely to be back in Harare any time soon.

“What has happened is that the ambassador is going back to work, but those three guys who made the reports have been recalled home,” said one senior government official.

Nelson Chamisa, the MDC-T spokesperson, said no official communication had been directed to them as yet.

“We have not been formally advised as yet by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” Chamisa said.

The MDC-T ambassador is alleged to have stripped in anger at the hostile treatment she was being subjected to by staff members at the embassy, most of whom are allegedly loyal to Zanu PF.

After the alleged incident the ambassador was recalled to Harare for an inquiry into the reported embarrassing incident.

The government said it was instituting an inquiry to establish what really transpired at the embassy.
Chamisa said as far as the MDC-T was concerned, the ambassador was innocent.

“The government said it was conducting in enquiry to ascertain the gravity of the matter,” Chamisa said.

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