Armoured car for German ambassador

albrecht_conzeGovt, cops remain mum on March attack
JOHANNESBURG - Germany has been forced to send an armoured car for use by its Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Albrecht Conze (pictured), to protect him from an attack similar to the one he experienced in Harare earlier in the year.

Ambassador Conze and his driver survived the attack unscathed on the night of March 1, made a police report and protested to the minister of Foreign Affairs, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, after a mob, widely suspected to be made up of supporters of President Robert Mugabes Zanu (PF) party, damaged the window of his Mercedes-Benz limousine.

Zanu (PF) eventually sent its chairman, Simon Khaya Moyo to apologise to Conze some days after the attack, but the German Ambassador revealed this week that the Zimbabwean government has still not officially sent any message of regret, nor promised a tightening of security.

Against this background and a lack of update from the Zimbabwean police on the progress of their investigation, Germany has been forced to act to safeguard its ambassador.

Berlin has now sent an armoured car to the Embassy and asked me to use it, Ambassador Conze told The Zimbabwean this week. He also expressed regret over the lapse of security.

It makes me sad that this country, once famous for its relaxed lifestyle and excellent security – and thus distinguishing herself from some of her neighbours – does not seem to be able to make a better use of its police force. But I am confident that this attitude will change as soon as there is once again a correct understanding about the security forces’ first and most noble obligation – to serve the people, and to protect them from insecurity.

In what flies in the face of the ZRPs much-hyped service charter, Conze said there had been no information whatsoever about the progress of the investigation into the attack on him.

I have not received any updates, neither from the Police nor from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, added the Ambassador.

No official regrets were sent to me. However, a number of ministers with whom I am on friendly terms have expressed their sympathy and that they felt disgusted with regard to the apparent inertia of the Police.

Coming hardly a week after the ambassador had penned an article on empowerment, ‘Best practices for Empowerment a German view,’ that is said to have infuriated Zimbabwean authorities, Zanu (PF) has been fingered in the attacks, although the party has pleaded innocence.

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