Zim embassy buildings in ruins: Parly hears

PROBLEMS at Zimbabwe’s poorly funded diplomatic missions abroad continue to worsen with Parliament revealing that buildings were collapsing and “actually unsuitable for human habitation”.

Told MPs government addressing the problem ... Emmerson Mnangagwa

Told MPs government addressing the problem … Emmerson Mnangagwa

Embassy staff have gone for months without pay as the cash-strapped administration in Harare struggles with its finances, with rentals reportedly unpaid at some of the country’s missions.

On Tuesday, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs reported that embassy buildings were also in a shocking state of disrepair.

Committee chairman and Zanu PF legislator Kindness Paradza said they visited Ethiopia and Botswana and found the embassies in an “embarrassing” state.

“What your committee saw can best be described as reckless abandon and gross neglect of the chancery by responsible authorities here in Harare,” said the MP.

“The embassy buildings in the two countries are in such a deplorable state of dilapidation to the extent that they are actually unsuitable for human habitation and occupancy.

“Visitors are greeted by cracked and crumbling walls which at best resemble an abandoned building.

“The roof at the Ethiopian embassy is leaking and monumental damage is being inflicted to the electrical cables.

“The carpets have been severely damaged by water which leaks from the roof during rainy seasons.”

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa conceded the crisis, adding action was being taken to address the problems.

“There are indeed problems of administration and maintenance of embassies,” he said.

“However, and fortunately this afternoon we were seized with the state of the affairs of our embassies in Cabinet. We resolved to start with Ethiopia so that we change the face of it.

“The concern expressed by members is quite legitimate. As an Executive we have resolved to attend to that issue.”

 

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