Tuesday, December 31, 2013

ZANU-PF Scoffs at Former Ambassador to Australia's Claims

Zanu-PF scoffs at Zwambila’s claims

December 31, 2013
Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe Herald

Zanu-PF has accused Zimbabwe’s outgoing Ambassador to Australia, Ms Jacqueline Zwambila, of seeking political relevance by making false claims against Government in her application for asylum in the country she was posted to. The ruling party’s spokesperson, Cde Rugare Gumbo, yesterday said it was Ms Zwambila’s choice to abandon her country.

“As a party we do not have anything against her. We were in the inclusive Government and we respected her as our ambassador to Australia. She, however, turned around from her mandate while in Australia and as such if she wants to remain in Australia so be it. She is a turncoat and we do not have anything to do with her.

“She is just making noise to remain relevant because she knows that she is nobody now. We have systems that function properly and if she has not done anything wrong why is she afraid? We have the police that arrest perpetrators of crime and courts that try them and if they are guilty they go to prison just like in any other society,” Cde Gumbo said.

He added that Zimbabweans should not be diverted from the real issues affecting the country by Ms Zwambila’s antics.

“What we are focusing on right now is implementation of our economic blueprint (Zim-Asset) and uniting the people and we will not be worried by people who just want to make noise for nothing,” Cde Gumbo added.

Ms Zwambila was yesterday quoted by South African media organisations repeating her claims that her life would be in danger in Zimbabwe.

“The decision is based on the fact that I do not feel safe to go back home. My safety is paramount and it is due to actions, which have occurred during my tour of duty here in Australia. I have been subjected to a massive smear campaign by the State agents and I’m not protected by the government.

“I’ve just won a case against one of them and I just do not trust that I will be safe when I go home,” she claimed.

Ms Zwambila said this in reference to a case she sued Herald columnist Mr Reason Wafawarova for defamation following publication of an article alleging she stripped half-naked in front of embassy staff after an argument with them.

Mr Wafawarova lost the case on a technicality after the Australian judge ruled that his papers were not in order. He has stated his intention to appeal against the judgment.

Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Ambassador Joey Bimha on Sunday said Government had no issues with Ms Zwambila.

He, however, said she should not tarnish the country’s image to prolong her stay in Australia.

Apart from Ms Zwambila, outgoing Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Germany, Mr Hebson Makuvise, who is said to be a relative to MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, has reportedly also sought asylum in that country.

The two were recalled together with 20 other ambassadors from various diplomatic missions but are said to be afraid to return home because of fears they could be prosecuted on charges of misappropriation of funds in their private capacities.

Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi has said Government has no intentions of harming Ms Zwambila and advised her to report any threats on her life to the responsible authorities.

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