HomeNewsZimbabwe Embassy hits back at Zwambila

Zimbabwe Embassy hits back at Zwambila


CANBERRA — The Zimbabwe embassy in Canberra has hit back at defecting ambassador Jacqueline Zwambila by saying she should have resigned straight after President Robert Mugabe’s July 31 election win if she thought the ballot was illegitimate.

By Canberra Times

Zwambila, whose term as top envoy to Australia ended on Tuesday, created headlines across the world last Saturday when she announced she was seeking political asylum in Australia, saying: ‘‘I don’t feel safe about returning to Zimbabwe at all.’’

She has used her high-profile position attained since the diplomatic storm to highlight what she says are shortcomings in the Mugabe regime, while her story has been followed by hundreds of media outlets globally.

The letter sent by the embassy’s charge d’affaires, Dominic Buhera, said it was “unfortunate to hear such fabrications and falsehoods being peddled by a person who once held an esteemed position in government”.

“Zwambila’s theatrics should be dismissed unreservedly,” the letter said.

“She is now claiming the that the July election was stolen just because she received a notice of recall.”

The embassy repeated allegations about Zwambila, which she recently disputed in an Australian Supreme Court case which she won.

The letter also rejected Zwambila’s allegation members of staff at the embassy sabotaged her.

“On the contrary, the embassy staff in Canberra and our head office in Harare tried their level best to assist her to learn how to manage the ropes,” the letter said.

The letter said embassy staff were apolitical and required to work with any ambassador, no matter their politics.

“It would seem that the recall has had the net affect of denying her the opportunity to continue enjoying the luxuries and privileges of diplomatic life,” the letter said.

“It is, therefore, surprising that her life suddenly became in danger after she had been recalled back home along with 20 other Zimbabwean ambassadors serving in other countries.

“Zwambila, who is today claiming that she risks being persecuted if she goes back home, was a regular visitor to Zimbabwe, travelling twice or three times a year and her latest visit to Zimbabwe being in July 2013.

“Zwambila was Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Australia for almost four years and she received a generous salary, allowances and other privileges befitting an accredited diplomat from the government of Zimbabwe over that period.

“She was well aware that her tour of duty would end upon the expiry of her employment contract.”

Zwambila was seeking legal advice on whether to comment.

Zwambila, politically aligned to Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change, was recalled from her post without being offered another job after Mugabe’s Zanu PF party controversially won the country’s general election – a poll the Australian government said should be rerun.

She was called treasonous by some commentators in Zimbabwe after her moves to get a protection visa in Australia.

Politician, torture survivor and Sydney Peace Prize winner Sekai Holland said the public in Zimbabwe was sympathetic towards Zwambila, but added some of the comments in the Zimbabwe media about her were terrible.

“Most of the people here just say it’s her right (to be safe),” she said.

In September, Amnesty International highlighted how policing had become politicised when more than 20 of Zwambila’s fellow party members were arrested and spent a year or more in custody for the alleged murder of a police officer before being acquitted.

One of them, Rebecca Mafikeni (29), died in custody in August after spending two years on remand awaiting trial. It was the same month the election result was announced.

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