The government has six new embassies on its list. The new embassies are expected to have a workforce of about 50 officers.
While six new embassies are approved, over 100 diplomats are yet to depart for missions to start work.
These embassies include Jerusalem, Dubai, Gaborone, Abuja, Kinshasa and Doha, according to the deployment status of diplomats as of February 26 2022, prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
For the Jerusalem embassy, the government is expected to identify 10 officers. These include ambassador at grade D, Deputy Head of Mission, counsellor, defence attaché, first secretaries for investment, political desk, and administration and second secretary for trade and two-third secretaries for general duties.
Seven officers are earmarked for the Doha mission. These include ambassador, deputy Head of Mission, counsellor, two first secretaries for economics, labour and second secretary for administration and an interpreter.
In Kinshasa, the government is expected to deploy one messenger, driver, receptionist, third secretary for general duties, vice-consul responsible for administration, another vice-consul for immigration and vice council general, deputy consul general and consul general.
The Abuja embassy is expected to have eight officers while the Dubai embassy will have six. Three officers already appearing on the Dubai list are Richard Jackson Mdyetseni as Consular General at grade F and Andrew Chifukwa, Vice Consul responsible for immigration, and Gift Kumwenda, who is responsible for trade. Three posts are yet to be filled.
The Gaborone list is empty and does not show the required number of officers for the embassy.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson John Kabaghe confirmed the development but was quick to say that they would be opened in phases depending on the availability of funds.
He said Dubai Consulate is already operational while the Doha mission has just been opened.
Centre for Research and Consultancy Director Milwad Tobias said, if all the new missions are operational on residential basis, the development would counter the potential gains from expenditure control measures announced in the national budget statement of 2022- 23.
“However, if some are on non-residential basis, to mean that an existing mission will have extended mandate in the newly established mission, then that is a welcome development,” Tobias said.
“Dubai and Israel are strategic; as such, we can have residential missions. The others can be non-residential,” he added.
As these diplomats are to be identified, around 113 diplomats are yet to depart for embassies to start work.
For example, the list shows that eight officers have not yet departed for Washington, six for Tokyo, two for Tete province, six for Pretoria, four for New York, seven for New Delhi, five for Nairobi, three for Maputo, three for Lusaka, six for London, four for Kuwait and 10 for Johannesburg.
Others are six for Harare, eight for Geneva, six for Dar-es-Salam, eight for Cairo, five for Brussels, six for Brasilia and six for Berlin.