Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
The country’s diplomats serving at various missions will now have their performance measured in line with the Second Republic’s thrust of promoting economic diplomacy with those failing the test being recalled.
This was said by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Sibusiso Busi Moyo when he appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade yesterday.
“His Excellency (President Mnangagwa) will not just deploy, but he will ensure that he deploys ambassadors who have the same vision and thrust of economic diplomacy,” he said.
“We have taken time to train our ambassadors before deployment this time so that we actually reorient them and they have got specific targets and their targets are given like for every quarter how many tourists have come from your country of accreditation.
“We can count easily your performance, how many companies or investors have come from your country of accreditation and what new markets have you secured for this country.
“We can actually measure that so that we have a pro-forma which they fill to say this is what I have done and this is what I have not done and we can assess.
“If an ambassador cannot perform, the President has the prerogative to recall that ambassador so we prefer to have performing ambassadors.” Minister
Moyo said they were rationalising the country’s foreign missions to reflect the policy thrust of Government.
“The ministry is in the process of rationalising its foreign missions in order to correctly reflect the realities in the international community and most importantly the Second Republic’s thrust of engagement with everyone,” he said
“The rationalisation process includes but is not limited to closing down some sections where there is hardly any trade, opening new diplomatic missions and increasing staff at missions with multiple accreditation. The Government is in the process of opening three new diplomatic missions in Rwanda, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.”
He added that they would also introduce a ranking system for ambassadors where they would be paid according to their rank.
“We have decided to have what we call a rank of ambassadors. Instead of saying all ambassadors are the same, we rank them so that we can reduce the salaries of those who are ranked lower and that will create a saving in that regard and we believe it is a way to cut cost,” he said.
He added that they also wanted the foreign missions to coordinate Diaspora activities that he said had an important role to play in the development of the country.