Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Sibusiso Moyo has told parliament on Monday that the procurement of vehicles for Zimbabwean embassies is underway amid concerns that some envoys were almost hitch-hiking to work thereby degrading the image of the country.
SB Moyo told the Parliamentary Portfolio committee on Foreign Affairs and International trade that most Zimbabwean ambassadors do not have vehicles and the procurement of vehicles and government was addressing that anomaly.
“The procurement of vehicles for Zimbabwean embassies is currently underway. Some ambassadors were almost hitch-hiking, we thought that image was not good at all,” he said.
He also told parliament that Zimbabwe is set to open three new diplomatic missions in Turkey, Rwanda and United Arab Emirates and these diplomatic missions are expected to cement re-engagement and attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
“It’s however no longer business as usual as new ambassadors are expected to bring deliverables such as investors, FDI all to be known through a performance based score sheet,” he said
This is part of president Emmerson Mnangagwa’s strategy in the new dispensation to, engage, re-engage and strengthen Zimbabwe’s relations with her traditional allies such as China, Russia as well as to revive relations with Britain, United States of America, the European Union (EU) and the West following a decade of toxic relations under former president Robert Mugabe’s regime.
A report by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs, which was presented in the National Assembly in 2018 stated that Zimbabwe was now a laughing stock due to the despicable condition of the country’s embassies, including the poverty that now submerges the country’s diplomats.
It was suggested that to solve the continued accumulation of debt by embassies, Treasury should allocate money for the purchase and construction of properties for embassies, and priority should be given to those countries where rental costs are very high.