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Zwambila Party Says Zimbabwe Harassment Led to Defection

Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Australia, Jacqueline Zwambila, said harassment by security agents from the southern African country prompted her to request political asylum from the government in Canberra, according to her political party.

“The decision made this month by Ambassador Zwambila to seek political asylum after the expiry of her term is personal, after she looked at her personal circumstances and what she went through at the hands of the Zimbabwe government during her tenure,” the Movement for Democratic Change said in an e-mailed statement today.

“The ill treatment that she received at the hands of the state and state agents while on a national tour of duty as Zimbabwe’s representative to Australia are well documented,” according to the party.

Zwambila, appointed as the envoy to Australia in 2009, made the asylum request days before her term was to end.

Zimbabwe Secretary for Foreign Affairs Joey Bimha and Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Christopher Mutsvangwa couldn’t be reached for comment by mobile telephone today.

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