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Tanzania recalls Harare envoy

TANZANIAN President Jakaya Kikwete is recalling veteran ambassador to Zimbabwe, Brigadier-General Hashim Mbita, widely seen as close to Zanu PF, in a move thought to be part of Dar-es-Salaam’s strategy to crack the Zimbabwean problem.

ign=justify>Diplomatic sources said Kikwete — who has already made appointments of new ambassadors to four countries — would soon be withdrawing Mbita from Harare in a bid to re-energise his country’s initiative to resolve the Zimbabwean crisis.

Tanzania, will supported Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle during the 1970s, has now taken centre stage to deal with the local crisis again.

Mbita would be replaced by Adadi Mohamed Rajab, former Director of Criminal Investigations in the Tanzanian police force. Sources said that Kikwete had finalised the issue which was part of other appointments to the United Kingdom, China and Germany.

Rajab, who is a lawyer by profession, is said to be a forthright diplomat who will tell it like it is on the Zimbabwe political and economic crisis.

While Mbita’s recalling, sources said, was part of Tanzania’s diplomatic policy shift towards Zimbabwe, it was explained in official language that his “contract has come to an end”.

Sources said even though Kikwete, a former foreign and finance minister with a strong military background, remains a steadfast nationalist leader, he was modern and dynamic in his outlook.

“This is why he has difficulties with old-school leaders like Mugabe,” a source said. “He wants to see a new generation of leaders in Africa.”

Although Mbita, together with the late Information minister Tichaona Jokonya, was central in the appointment of Mkapa as mediator in the Zimbabwean situation, sources said Dar-es-Salaam now wanted a straight-talking envoy to tackle the issue. — Staff Writer.

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