Wikileaks scare: Zimbabwe government officials under tight leash

AS captains of industry prepare to travel to Europe to engage the European Union this month, it has emerged that the Zimbabwean government is keeping a tight leash on senior civil servants by barring them from interacting with Western diplomats, sources said.

By Paidamoyo Muzulu

The government became hypersensitive to interactions between civil servants and diplomats after Julian Assange’s Wikileaks released confidential embassy cables quoting senior officials.

The government has reportedly since put out a circular limiting interactions between senior civil servants and Western diplomats.

Many cabinet ministers and high ranking government bureaucrats were sucked into the Wikileaks scandal.

Among prominent names contained in the cables were Vice President Joice Mujuru, ministers, Saviour Kasukuwere, Obert Gutu, Nelson Chamisa and the then Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono.

“Since the Wikileaks revelations, government has limited the interaction between senior government officials and diplomats.

“Only ministers now attend embassy functions with all government officials having to get prior clearance for that unlike in the past,” a source said.

Last week, EU head of delegation Aldo Dell’Arricia told the Zimbabwe Independent that no re-engagement talks were taking place between the two parties.

“At this moment there is nothing going on at government level and we still do not have a date when the process will resume but we welcome the move by the private sector,” said Dell’Arricia.

However, captains of industry in Zimbabwe will visit the bloc from January 26-31.