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Wetangula makes case over Zimbabwe

NAIROBI, May 9 – Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetangula is urging African countries to step up their efforts to assist Zimbabwe by giving the necessary guidance that would take the Southern African country out of its current crisis.

He pointed out on Friday that the situation in Zimbabwe should not be allowed to degenerate further as it could plunge that country into civil war.

Wetangula emphasised the need for democracy to be adhered to in that country.

The date for an election re-run has not yet been set, more than one month after Zimbabweans lined up to vote for a new government.

“The delay in announcing results in Zimbabwe is a recipe for problems and I hope this will not be repeated in the future,” Wetangula stated.

He further explained that closure in the process was essential for the country, and called on the parties to respect the decision of the electoral institutions.

“Zimbabwe must conclude their elections quickly, follow due process and accept the verdict of their institutions. And embrace peace so that they do not slip into conflict,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, the ministry also revived the Foreign Service Institute to train upcoming and experienced diplomats to sharpen their skills in diplomacy.

The Institute, which was set up in 2007, was formed for the purpose of education on the practical aspects of diplomatic relations.

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It was set to offer specialised tailor-made training for Foreign Service Officers in response to the dynamic and complex international arena.

Wetangula explained that the Institute will enhance the knowledge of diplomats and make them more professional and effective.

He said the institute would tap into the existing of knowledge such as the current and former ambassadors as well as other senior government officials.

“We have recently re-energised the running of the Institute and I have appointed a director. We have tailored programmes running from between 1 – 6 months,” the minister explained.

He was speaking during a meeting with the Liberia’s Foreign Minister Olubanke King-Akerele who paid him a courtesy call.

Meanwhile, South African President Thabo Mbeki arrived in Harare on Friday for his first talks with Zimbabwean counterpart Robert Mugabe since the results of a March 29 presidential election were announced.

Mbeki was met at the Harare International Airport by Mugabe before the pair drove off together to State House, an AFP correspondent reported.

According to results released last Friday, Mugabe lost the first round of the presidential election to opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai but is likely to contest a run-off on a date that has yet to be determined.

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