Diplomats deserve worse than chicken gizzards

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By Taona Moto

RECENTLY, I laughed, laughed, and laughed after it was reported that Zimbabwe’s diplomats, most of whom have deservedly gone unpaid for more than a year, are literally wallowing in abject poverty in the various countries to which they are posted.

“WE are surviving on chicken feet and zvikanganwa hama (gizzards), the situation is really bad,” Zimbabwean diplomats said in an interview at the weekend as they outlined the increasingly dire situation at the country’s foreign missions

“WE are surviving on chicken feet and zvikanganwa hama (gizzards), the situation is really bad,” Zimbabwean diplomats said in an interview at the weekend as they outlined the increasingly dire situation at the country’s foreign missions

“We are surviving on chicken nzondora (feet) and zvikanganwahama (gizzards), the situation is really bad,” a Zimbabwean diplomat was quoted by an online news site mgafrica.com  as saying.

My little understanding of a diplomat is that he or she is someone who represents his or her country in another country.

I surely do not understand why any of these diplomats are complaining at all. Are they in those countries to represent Zimbabwe? If so, why are they appearing so bitter when the existence they are eking out there is just a mirror of what life in Zimbabwe has become.

In fact, those people are still much better off because they can still afford the luxury of have these for food! If I were one of the lucky ones to be among them, I would actually be so, so grateful that I am not yet suffering half as much as the people back home that I purport to represent are!

So these Zimbabwean diplomats expect to truly represent the country in the country’s 46 diplomatic missions abroad want to be insulated from the hard realities obtaining on the ground back home? They want to live lavish lifestyles as if they are Qatari, Saudi or American diplomats, which lifestyles can give credence to their claims that all is well back home… that President Robert Mugabe’s government is very popular, that the land reform programme was a resounding success, that ZimAsset is proving to be a success beyond the dream of Croesus, that the milk and honey that were promised to the people of Zimbabwe during the liberation war have all been duly delivered… that Zimbabwe is a model country that the whole world should stampede to emulate?

Is this the lie they would want to sustain and yet also hope to remain truly Zimbabwean? Did they ever hear anything about one eating one’s cake and still having it? This is the miracle they are crying for, a miracle that no one can deliver—at least for now—so they would be forced by circumstances to remain truly loyal and faithful to the country they serve… Zimbabwe is a country in the throes of serious crises—both political and economic—and whoever tries to whitewash over this fact is not a true Zimbabwean!

The diplomats are Zimbabweans and it is therefore their duty to suffer alongside their countrymen. For what good excuse should they be insulated from the searing poverty that the ordinary Zimbabwean is suffering from? Just because they are diplomats and they are living abroad?

From a recent interview given to some foreign media by former ZANU PF secretary for administration and Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa, it is obvious that quite a good chunk of these “ diplomats ” are in fact Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operatives masquerading as diplomats, when they are infact gathering intelligence information to keep President Robert Mugabe and his barren ZANU PF party in power.

“Of course, you know that some waiters in hotels work for the CIO,” he was quoted as saying. “Your phones are listened to a lot. The CIO is huge and it produces many reports. From the UN (United Nations) there will regularly be a report. A report about the British. Or India. Not very good reports really. I had to read them. They made me tired.”

Traditionally, for one to be a diplomat, they have to have very solid connections to powerful ZANU PF mandarins.

So should these be the people any ordinary Zimbabwean should wastefully lavish any sympathies on? If it was a worker at the National Railways of Zimbabwe, at the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority or at the Grain Marketing Board who has gone for several months with no pay, then it could be a different matter.

Not these goons whose job is to paint a picture that life in Zimbabwe is still bearable, when they themselves are finding it a purgatory.

Anyway, who is stopping those disgruntled diplomats from tendering their resignations.

This lot deserves everything that it is going through so that it can tell the world the true story about what a failure Zimbabwe has become under the leadership of Robert Mugabe.