Zim envoy worked in ‘lions’ den’

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IOL Jacqueline Zwambila


Jacqueline Zwambila, Harares outgoing ambassador to Australia who is seeking asylum to remain there.

Johannesburg - Jacqueline Zwambila says she endured a campaign of “psychological warfare” as Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Australia during nearly four years in office.

Speaking from Canberra on Monday, Zwambila – who was appointed to her position in 2009 by then prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC – said going to work at the embassy was like “walking in to the lions’ den”.

She said one staff member wrote to the president’s office accusing her of seeking sex with a butler and of taking her clothes off in front of staff.

“I was accused of conniving with former Rhodesian forces… my communications were hacked. I became a prisoner… while I tried to do my job.”

After she applied for asylum from the Australian government citing fears for her safety if she returned to Zimbabwe, home affairs minister Kembo Mohadi – who was formerly with the previous opposition Zapu, but later joined Zanu-PF – assured Zwambila she would be safe if and when she returned home.

Zwambila responded sceptically, noting that Mohadi was in charge of the police.

"We know about him,” she said.

Independent Foreign Service

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