Zim keeps diplomats waiting

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CHENGETAI ZVAUYA

DELAYS in forming a new government after a hotly contested presidential election have seen several diplomats and foreign attaches posted to Zimbabwe waiting for more than a month before being accredited, Business Times has established.

Business Times can report that the European Union’s (EU) pick to head the Zimbabwe mission Timo Olkkonen has been waiting for accreditation since August.

The diplomat replaces Philippe Van Damme whose term of office ended in August.

Charge d’affaires Thomas Von Handel is currently holding forte for the EU bloc. Another diplomat who has not been accredited is Patrick Amir Imam who is designated as resident representative for Zimbabwe representing the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

He has served the IMF since 2005 working on monetary, exchange rate and financial stability issues across Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.

In a post on its website, EU said ambassador to Zimbabwe was yet to be accredited.

“We will introduce our new ambassador and head of delegation, here once he has presented his credentials to the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe,” it said.

Foreign Affairs and Inter national Trade permanent secretary Ambassador James Manzou said his ministry was working on the accreditation of the diplomats.

“The ministry is seized with the matter and all the people who are supposed to be accredited and work in the country shall be duly accredited,” he said.

The delay in accrediting the diplomats comes at a time President Emmerson Mnangagwa has opened a new chapter in terms of doing business with other countries with his Zimbabwe is open for business mantra.

Since winning the July 30 elections, President Mnangagwa has been on a drive to lure investors. Observers said this week the delay in accrediting the diplomats would strain relations between Zimbabwe and the countries or organisations that would have seconded diplomats.