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MDC Aligned Zimbabwe Diplomats Set to Lose Jobs

Trudy Stevenson
The fate of five diplomats seconded by the two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations in 2010 hangs in the balance following a resounding victory by President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party in the just-ended general election.

Some of the diplomats say their contracts are set to expire at the end of December this year after four years of diplomatic service in Sudan, Germany, Senegal, Nigeria and Australia.

The diplomats, who include the MDC-T’s Hilda Mafukidze, Hebson Makuvise, Mabed Ngulani, Jacquiline Zwambila and Trudy Stevenson of the other MDC, say they will have to relocate their families if they are not re-appointed by President Mugabe.

They believe that it will be impossible for the president to re-appoint them, especially at a time when Zanu PF is pushing an indigenization programme compelling foreign-owned companies to transfer majority stakes to indigenous people.

“We have been contacting each other and it seems as if everyone is worried about being in the diplomatic service for the next five years. We believe that it will be hard for Zanu PF to re-appoint us,” said one of the diplomats, who declined to be named in fear of being victimized by the Zanu PF government.

The diplomats refused to say what they will do if they are re-appointed by Mr. Mugabe.

Zanu PF has indicated that the unity government is a burden to the party and people of Zimbabwe and as a result, it is not willing to form another coalition.

Outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has dismissed the general election as a big farce and is challenging the results of the polls in the courts.

Spokesman Nhlanhla Dube of the MDC formation led by Professor Welshman Ncube says indications are that all the diplomats will be going home when their contracts expire in December.

Dube said, “If they were political party agents they should not be worried that they are likely to be recalled because the incoming government is a Zanu PF government.”

He said anyone outside Zanu PF structures should not feel hard done by not being appointed to a diplomatic post. “It is natural in our view that Zanu PF will deploy or re-deploy those that will articulate their policies, vision and views.

He noted that “it will be surprising if Zanu PF does not do that … And this will create a political problem for these diplomats if they get deployed by Zanu PF without any agreement with their parties.”

Political commentator Effie Dlela Ncube says it is unlikely that President Mugabe will re-appoint the MDC-aligned diplomats.

Mr. Ncube said there is no-one with “a good conscience from the MDC formations who will be able to spend five years defending the Zanu PF agenda.

“No-one in the MDC is going to be willing to adhere to the extremist Zanu PF agenda of indigenizing the economy through taking over foreign-owned companies and also to tell host nations that the elections were free and fair,” he said.