WASHINGTON DC —
The deputy Zimbabwe Ambassador to Australia, Felix Nyamupinga, is believed to be seeking political asylum in Australia where Ambassador Jacquiline Zwambila has defected saying she fears for her life if she goes back home after the expiry of her contract on Tuesday.
Zwambila told VOA LiveTalk Radio-TV on Monday that Nyamupinga recently applied for political asylum after he was recalled by President Robert Mugabe’s government.
She said the asylum status of her deputy, who is the husband of Zanu-PF Member of Parliament Beatrice Nyamupinga, is not being discussed in the ruling party’s corridors and state-controlled press “like what I am going through right now.”
“Did the government ever talk about it? No. Why has he asked for political asylum when his wife is a Zanu-PF parliamentarian? But when I request for asylum I am labeled a fool. Is this selective memory for Zanu-PF that their own people are seeking asylum? When genuine people like me submit asylum papers, they go on to say my safety is guaranteed back home,” said Zwambila.
She said, “Zanu-PF functionaries undermined me a lot. My life was hell, hell, hell at that embassy. This is the same government that started a terrible campaign against me. They even refused me permission to open the diplomatic bag. They know why.”
Reports say the diplomatic bag, which is normally not searched by security agents in nations with diplomatic links with Zimbabwe, was allegedly used to ferrying diamonds mined from Marange, Manicaland province, to countries like China and Malaysia.
She noted that ambassadors are supposed to open diplomatic bags and "not just any other members of staff."
“This issue of the diplomatic bag is actually bigger than what you may think. State security agents were masquerading as officers at the embassy. I uncovered all that and the Zanu-PF arm of the government was not happy about it.”
Zwambila insisted that she is not safe in Zimbabwe, noting that she has been persecuted by President Mugabe’s government from the time she landed in Canberra, Australia.
“I have been persecuted. I do not feel safe. As long as I do not feel safe, no-one can tell me that my safety is guaranteed. The feeling of safety is my own feeling."
The Mugabe government insists that she will be safe when she returns home after serving the country under the now defunct unity government of the two Movement for Democratic Change formations and Zanu-PF.
President Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party won recent disputed elections which were dismissed as fraudulent by the MDC parties, western nations and the European Union. They claim that Zanu-PF rigged the polls.
VOA Studio 7 was not able to reach Nyamupinga for comment on Facebook and his mobile phone which was switched off.
A big picture of Zwambila used to grace this website before it was pulled down Monday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Zwambila’s image was removed last night from the Zimbabwe Embassy website in Canberra, a few hours before her contract expired.