Serious clashes over vacant diplomatic posts emerges

Harare — The Movement for Democtratic Change, the MDC has targeted vacant diplomatic posts in South Africa and Brussels, amid serious resistance from Zanu PF, according to state media reports

The fresh dispute has emerged in the inclusive Government over the appointment of new ambassadors to South Africa and Brussels, Belgium, with MDC-T and the matter has been included in the current ongoing discussions as tensions rise over the key positions.

The Brussels post — which covers the European Union, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg — fell vacant when Ambassador Hurudza Punungwe died in October this year.

The diplomatic posting in Pretoria is likely to fall vacant in January 2010 when the incumbent, Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo, is expected to return home to take over Zanu-PF’s national chairmanship, which is a full-time job.

Khaya Moyo is set to leave South Africa once his nomination is endorsed by congress this month.

MDC-T has targeted these posts and is understood to be facing stiff resistance from the rogue elements in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs backed by Zanu PF leaders on the flimsy reasons that these are senior missions and should not be apportioned on political lines, yet previous appointments were politically motivated.

Zanu PF officials in the Foreign Affairs Ministry have said it would not be proper to appoint ambassadors to these countries on a partisan basis and these should instead go to career diplomats, but MDC has pointed to the fact that Simon Khaya Moyo was not a career diplomat when he was appointed ammbassador to South Africa.

MDC-T spokesperson Mr Nelson Chamisa has confirmed that his party was eyeing both diplomatic posts and they have already identified potential candidates.

"Ours is an inclusive arrangement premised on the principle of sharing of authority and responsibilities.

"As such, the matter you are referring to is part of the ongoing (inter-party) discussions with view to locating common understanding of sharing and inclusivity," he said.

Asked to if was true that MDC-T wanted both Pretoria and Brussels, Mr Chamisa said: "Yes, sharing has to be total. But these are matters under discussion and I cannot divulge details."