The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has revealed the dire financial situation prevailing at Zimbabwe’s diplomatic missions.
In a letter dated 21 April 2020 and addressed to Heads of Missions/Consul Generals, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ambassador Faranisi acknowledged that Missions are facing serious eviction threats because their operational costs have not been funded in a long time. He wrote:
Head Office is aware of the dire financial situation prevailing at Missions which has made life very difficult for Diplomats and stifled Mission operations.
Most of our Missions are facing litigation while others are facing serious eviction threats. Mission operational costs have not been funded in a long time amid growing salary arrears.
Faranisi added that the Ministry has not been getting adequate and consistent reimbursement releases from the Ministry of Finance, thus making it difficult for it to meet Missions’ financial needs. He wrote:
This has come as a result of the inadequate and inconsistent reimbursement releases by Treasury coupled with the lack of the requisite Nostro funding support from the RBZ to transmit the funds to Missions.
To date, all releases from Treasury have been Nostro funded by the RBZ in batches and the same pattern follows with reimbursement to Missions. Missions have therefore not been able to receive reimbursements at the same time.
Ambassador Faranisi went on to say that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues to engage the Ministry of Finance for a substantial reimbursement for the clearance of all outstanding operational and salary arrears. He said
The Ministry continues to engage Treasury and all the relevant authorities to enable a return to normalcy at Missions through the provision of a substantial reimbursement for the clearance of all outstanding operational and salary arrears.
Meanwhile, the Head Office is in the process of disbursing US$10 000.00 COVID 19 contingency funds to all Missions in light of the menacing pandemic.