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Zapu lobbies embassies to decentralise to Bulawayo

by Staff reporter
29 Mar 2021 at 06:29hrs | Views
THE opposition Zapu has written to various foreign embassies in Harare asking them to decentralise their operations and open consular posts in Bulawayo, the second largest city in the country.

The party said this would promote the devolution clause enshrined in the new Constitution.

However, the United States embassy has since turned down the appeal on grounds that it needs to be granted that permission by the Zimbabwean government.

In a letter to the embassy, Zapu deputy secretary for international relations, Future Msebele said: "We believe that as outlined by article 5 of the Vienna Convention on
Consular Relations (VCCR), there is a broad range of consular functions that are exercised by consular posts, hence should not be limited."

"Individuals and bodies of corporate outside of Harare are then subjected to sometimes illicit engagements with huge financial losses just to access the services of the consulate that should not be costing them," he added.

"We plead with you to heed to our request and understand that the request is not under any malicious intent of defiance to the standing government of Zimbabwe," he said.

Last Wednesday, Msebele said out of all the missions, only the United States embassy had responded.

In a response to Zapu, US embassy' consular section chief Alex AveLallemant said: "Ambassador (Brian) Nichols asked me to respond on his behalf. You make a number of good arguments as to why a consulate in Bulawayo would benefit both the US and Zimbabwe. However, international and US law lay out a lengthy process to establish a consulate general, including notification to the US Congress and the appropriation of funds to construct and staff a new post.

"For those reasons, we have no plans to open a consulate in Bulawayo in the foreseeable future. Nonetheless, the US government remains committed to working to
strengthen ties between the peoples of Zimbabwe and the US.

"We will continue to promote cultural exchange, business and economic interaction and a free exchange of views with leaders in southern and western Zimbabwe."

Source - newsday