30 August 2007

Zimbabwe: Czech Embassy to Close Over 'Crazy' Policies

The weekly Financial Gazette reports that the Czech Republic is closing its embassy in Zimbabwe because of what its foreign affairs minister described as 'crazy' policies by Robert Mugabe's government.

Karel Schwarzenberg is reported to have addressed members of the Czech chamber of deputies last Thursday disclosing that the government would also close embassies in Uruguay and Singapore. According to the paper 50 employees are set to be retrenched with the government saving over US$5,8 million.

The argument put forward by Schwarzenberg is that Zimbabwe's policies are 'somewhat crazy' and because of this the activities of the embassy were never going to be effective. The Czech Republic will let its embassies in neighbouring countries take over any issues that arise in Zimbabwe. Nelson Chamisa a spokesperson for the Tsvangirai MDC said the move was a bold message to the government that the international community is not happy with the slow pace of progress in resolving the country's crisis.

Chamisa said Mugabe had now become a threat to the country and the closure of the Czech embassy was depriving the country of business partners, contacts and friends. As the opposition they could not celebrate the closure of the embassy since in his own words, 'we can't be our own enemies.' As a party they feel discouraged by the development as it added to the bridges that need to built in the future.

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