Ambassadors accredited to Zimbabwe should comply with diplomatic protocols that compel them not to interfere with internal affairs, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said diplomats are governed by the Vienna Convention, which requires them to enhance bilateral relations and desist from meddling in political affairs of their host.
Minister Mutsvangwa said this in Senate during a Question and Answer session.
Mashonaland Central Senator Angeline Tongogara (Zanu PF) had asked what Government was doing to rein in some diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe, who were bent on tarnishing the image of their host country.
Sen Tongogara gave an example of United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Brian Nichols, who is in the habit of making wild allegations against Harare.
“Our Minister of Foreign Affairs summons the offending ambassador whenever that happens. We do not want to be confrontational with other nations. Diplomats should comply with Article 41 of the Vienna Convention,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
Article 41 of the Vienna Convention reads as follows: “Without prejudice to their privileges and immunities, it is the duty of all persons enjoying such privileges and immunities to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving State. They also have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs of that State.”
Minister Mutsvangwa said diplomats submit their credentials to the Head of State or Government as a sign of desire to deepen bilateral co-operation.
“Our President has been emphasising on engagement and re-engagement through the diplomatic channels. Whenever there are issues, they should be brought to the host Government using the proper diplomatic channels,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
Responding to another question, Minister Mutsvangwa said most former farmworkers before the advent of the land reform programme were now proud owners of the land.
She said Government will compensate white former farmers in terms of the Global Compensation Deed which was signed between Government and former commercial farmers.
Energy and Power Development Minister Zhemu Soda said the recent hike in electricity tariff was to ensure that Zesa Holdings remained competitive through charging cost reflective levies.