Deputy News Editor
Zimbabwe's Ambassador to Senegal Mr James Maridadi is optimistic that the embassy would be officially accredited in Mali, Guinea Conakry and the Gambia this year.
Ambassador Maridadi represents Zimbabwe in a number of West African countries apart from Senegal, but has not yet presented credentials to some of the countries including the Gambia and Mali.
But the embassy is now officially accredited to Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde after presenting credentials last year.
Guinea-Bissau is led by President Umaro Sissoco Embalo.
Cape Verde, also called Cabo Verde, is an archipelago and island country in the central Atlantic Ocean consisting of 10 volcanic islands with a combined land area of about 4 033 square kilometres.
It is led by President José Maria Neves.
Said Ambassador Maridadi: "It is our hope that in 2022, we will be officially accredited to Mali, Guinea and The Gambia."
Last year, the Zimbabwean embassy in Senegal said it welcomed two electrical engineers Mr Richard Mahupete and Mr Charles Muwandagara, who are seconded to Sendou Thermal Power Station in Dakar, Senegal.
Ambassador Maridadi said they also received a telecommunications engineer Mr Rushmore Mafanatu who is based in Banjul, the Gambia.
"The embassy is currently working on its website which we hope will be up and running in the first quarter of the year.
"It is unfortunate that due to restrictions occasioned by Covid-19 pandemic we are unable to meet, share and minister as a group. Nonetheless, we will continue to look out for each other in the typical Zimbabwean Ubuntu that we have come to be renowned for," he said.
With the Warriors of Zimbabwe taking on Senegal in their Africa Cup of Nations 2021 in Cameroon later today, Ambassador Maridadi is hoping to be there to support the national team. He said he was invited to attend the game.
"The Warriors are one of only three SADC representatives in the Africa Cup of Nations tournament which kicks off on the 9th of January 2022 (yesterday) in Yaounde, Cameroon. We are in the same group with Senegal, Guinea and Malawi. Our first game on the 10th of January will be against Senegal.
"Worth mentioning is that President Macky Sall will be guest of honour at the tourney and he will obviously watch the Zimbabwe-Senegal game. We wish our boys the very best," said Ambassador Maridadi.
Zimbabwe, alongside Malawi and Comoros, are the only three SADC countries participating in the belated Afcon 2021, whose staging last year was postponed due to the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic.