Pamela Shumba Senior Reporter
OUTGOING Zimbabwe Ambassador to South Africa, Phelekezela Mphoko has described his tenure in the neighbouring country as an excellent journey in national service.Ambassador Mphoko, who is retiring after serving the country as a diplomat for 27 years says he was excited to return home with pride. “Mine was a straight forward post considering that South Africa is an all-weather friend to Zimbabwe. My tenure in South Africa was excellent,” he told Chronicle during his visit to Bulawayo on Tuesday.
“The most important achievement that we made is that South Africa agreed to sell our diamonds through the Kimberly Process after we failed to sell our gems due to the sanctions. This shows that South Africa and Zimbabwe have good relations.”
Ambassador Mphoko said he was happy with the service he rendered to the country.
“I leave South Africa a proud Zimbabwean. I believe I have done my part after giving service to the country as a diplomat since 1987. “I believe the next Zimbabwean Ambassador to South Africa only has to maintain the good relations that have been created by the by former diplomats,” he said.
Ambassador Mphoko said he would now dedicate his time to his family and pursue farming at his Mdlawuzo Farm in Umguza District.
“I am a trained agriculturalist with special knowledge in artificial insemination, embryo transfer and semen collection.
“I have already started making preparations to move to my farm in Umguza District where I will specialise in commercial cattle ranching,” said Ambassador Mphoko who is also a businessman and chairman of Choppies Zimbabwe.
The government recalled some ambassadors in November last year and recently Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Ambassador Joey Bimha said the last batch of the 20 recalled diplomats was expected in the country on April 1.
He said the first batch of eight ambassadors was already in the country.
Ambassadors serve four-year terms that can be renewed depending on foreign policy considerations.