The Africa Desk, like other political desks, formulates and implements policies governing political and economic relations with African countries. The desk prepares country briefs as may be required and services resident and non - resident African Diplomatic Missions. It also facilitates and co - ordinates meetings between resident African Diplomatic Missions and other Government Ministries and Departments. Furthermore, the desk monitors political, economic, social and security developments on the African continent with a view to assessing their implications for bilateral, regional and international developments.
The Desk also pays special attention to peacekeeping efforts on the continent, such as those in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola, and through our Missions in African countries, mobilises moral and diplomatic support for Zimbabwe within SADC and the African Union/Organisation of African Unity.
Asia and the Pacific
The Asia and the Pacific Desk formulates and implements policies governing Zimbabwe's political and economic relations with the Asia and Pacific Region countries, which include the oil - rich Middle East. Like other political departments, the Asia and the Pacific desk also services resident and non - resident Asian and Pacific Region Diplomatic Missions, and through our Missions in the Middle East and the Asia and Pacific region, mobilises moral and diplomatic support for Zimbabwe in countries such as Kuwait, China, Malaysia and India, which wield immense economic and diplomatic clout in their respective regions and internationally.
Europe and the Americas
Europe and the Americas desk is one of the most important bilateral desks. The Desk monitors political, economic, social and strategic developments in Europe and the Americas with a view to assessing their implications for bilateral, regional and international relations. Europe and North America have traditionally been major sources of investment, tourism, trade and development aid, but most recently have orchestrated the campaign to isolate Zimbabwe internationally. Through our Diplomatic Missions in Europe and North America, therefore, the Desk spearheads Zimbabwe's drive to explain its case internationally and combat the negative publicity it is receiving abroad.
Multilateral Affairs (Political)
The Multilateral Affairs (Political) department formulates, negotiates and implements policies governing relations with international and intergovernmental organisations. Its key functions include:
- co - ordinating Zimbabwe's participation in regional and international fora such as the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Security Council in New York, and other specialised agencies, namely, UNICEF, UNDP etc; the United Nations in Geneva, and related institutions such as the World Health Organisation, International Labour Organisation, International Telecommunications Union, World Trade Organisation etc; the Rome - based World Food Programme; and the Commonwealth, G - 15, and the Non - Aligned Movement;
- leading, through our Diplomatic Mission in Brussels, Zimbabwe's participation in the ACP - EU relationship, including the negotiation of trade and aid agreements between ACP countries and the European Union;
- co - ordinating Zimbabwe's participation in international peacekeeping missions;
- lobbying for the election of Zimbabwe and Zimbabwean nationals to international bodies; and
- facilitating the employment of Zimbabwean nationals in regional and international organizations in order to maximize benefits from membership of and financial contributions to those organizations;
Multilateral Affairs (Economic)
The department co - ordinates Zimbabwe's participation in SADC activities and, in that regard, is the designated National Contact Point through which all communication with the SADC Secretariat is channelled. Part of the responsibility entails convening preparatory meetings involving stakeholders for major SADC meetings and compiling position or briefing papers, reviewing and monitoring progress in implementation of the SADC Programme of Action.
Within the Ministry, the Department is also the focal point on all other regional issues and groupings, notably, COMESA, Southern Africa International Dialogue, the Cross Border Initiative and Regional Development Corridors.
On behalf of the Ministry and other line Ministries, the Department co - ordinates and convenes the 44 Joint Commissions for Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Co - operation that Zimbabwe has with other countries. The Department also participates in trade, tourism and investment promotion activities both at home and abroad.
Policy and Research
Key tasks of the Policy Research and Promotion Division are to:
- compile daily briefs and position papers for the Head of State on global political, economic, social and strategic developments, including bilateral and multilateral issues;
- provide Zimbabwe's Diplomatic Missions with information and briefing materials for effective promotion and defence of the national interest;
- liaise with Parliament and make contributions to the President's Speeches relating to the opening of Parliament, National Day, Annual Diplomats' Reception, Heroes and Defence Forces Days;
- brief the Minister of Foreign Affairs on Parliamentary debates relating to foreign policy;
- liaise with the domestic and foreign press on foreign policy issues as well as on state and official visits;
- compile press statements and respond to media requests for press conferences and interviews;
- provide Secretarial services to meetings of the Minister and Senior Officials;
- compile and present the Ministry's position papers on foreign policy at various fora, including the Armed Forces' Staff College;
- attend Censorship Board meetings; and
- Manage the Ministry's library.
The functions of the Training Department are to:
- conduct training programmes in diplomacy, international relations, foreign languages as well as trade, investment and tourism promotion; and
- conduct research and analytical studies in diplomacy and international developments, particularly as they impact on Zimbabwe's foreign policy.
The Protocol Department is responsible for:
- preparation of State visits and providing the related protocol services in accordance with internationally acceptable protocol procedures and practice;
- providing internationally acceptable protocol services and advice at diplomatic functions, international conferences and meetings;
- facilitating the accreditation of Zimbabwe's Ambassadors and Military Attaches, including the granting of agre'ment, and letters of credence in accordance with the Vienna Convention and host governments' laws and regulations;
- accreditation of foreign Heads of Mission and International Organisations and arranging their courtesy calls and presentation of letters of credence to the Head of State and letters of introduction to the Minister of Foreign Affairs;
- accreditation of diplomats, including the processing of diplomatic identity cards and processing diplomatic visas in co - operation with the Immigration Department;
- ensuring that accredited diplomats enjoy diplomatic privileges and immunities in accordance with the Vienna Conventions on Political and Consular Relations and the Privileges and Immunities Act of Zimbabwe;
- registration of locally recruited staff of diplomatic and international organisations;
- management of the Airport VIP Lounge and facilitating the departure and arrival of VIPs;
- issuing the "Diplomatic Missions and International Organisations Directory", which is generally known as the Diplomatic Handbook;
- issuing of airport passes to diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe, in consultation with the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe; and
- assisting in the processing of complaints and claims involving members of the public and members of the diplomatic corps.
The Legal Department gives legal advice to the Ministry and its Missions abroad, thus ensuring that the government fulfils and abides by its domestic and international legal obligations. The main areas of activity include the following:
- formulating and implementing policies on international legal matters, negotiation and ratification of international treaties and agreements;
- representing the Ministry in and providing Secretarial Services to the Public Agreements Advisory Committee, which ensures that bilateral and multilateral agreements that Zimbabwe is party to are in conformity with the country's national interests and generally acceptable international legal standards and practice;
- providing custody of all international agreements and maintaining a treaty register of all multilateral and bilateral treaties and agreements that Zimbabwe is party to;
- preparing international instruments of Zimbabwe's accession and ratification of agreements and facilitating their incorporation into domestic law;
- preparing credentials to be presented by Zimbabwe's Ambassadors to Heads of State of countries and heads of international organisations where they are accredited as well as full powers of attorney authorising Ministers, Ambassadors or Senior Government officials to sign agreements on behalf of Zimbabwe and to satisfy procedural requirements of international conferences;
- participating in the Inter - Ministerial Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and ensuring that International Conventions on Human Rights acceded to by Zimbabwe are incorporated into domestic law;
- participating in the Inter - Ministerial Committee on Refugees, which screens and processes applications for political asylum and refugee status;
- facilitating the enforcement of maintenance orders, litigation and processes in civil and criminal matters involving Zimbabwean and foreign nationals, and extradition of criminals; and
- authenticating, in co - operation with the Registrar General's Office, all documents of Zimbabwean origin for international use, including birth certificates, death certificates, marriage and non - marriage certificates, certificates of incorporation and phytosanitary certificates relating to bilateral, regional and international trade agreements.
The Consular Department's functions are to:
- facilitate the issuing of diplomatic and service passports to Ministers, Senior Civil Servants, Judges, heads of parastatals, Vice Chancellors of all Universities and Zimbabwe's Ambassadors, diplomats and their families;
- process all applications for passports and verify citizenship and nationality for all Zimbabwean nationals living abroad;
- facilitate the issuing of birth and death certificates of Zimbabweans living abroad;
- liaise with Zimbabwean Missions abroad on the issuing or renewal of passports or issuing of Emergency Travel Documents to Zimbabwean nationals abroad;
- facilitate processing of visa applications for Zimbabwean officials travelling abroad on government business;
- assist with the repatriation of destitute and/or stranded Zimbabweans abroad as well as repatriation of the remains of Zimbabwean nationals who die abroad;
- administer the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, including liaising with Foreign Embassies' Consular Officers with respect to their nationals in Zimbabwean prisons and in that context, to arrange consular visits in consultation with prison authorities; and
- respond to general consular enquiries from members of the public and handling consular cases relating to Zimbabwean nationals in foreign countries.
The main functions of the Human Resources Division are to:
- manage human resource and administrative affairs of the Ministry and its Missions abroad;
- formulate and implement approved Human Resource Development Plans for officers in the Ministry, Ambassadors and staff from other government departments in preparation for their deployment to Zimbabwe's Diplomatic Missions abroad, in liaison with the Public Service Commission, Zimbabwe Investment Centre, ZIPAM, CZI, ZNCC, and other government and private sector institutions;
Finance and Administration
The functions of the Finance and Administration Division are to:
- manage the Ministry's financial resources in accordance with Treasury Instructions and the Audit and Exchequer Act.
- administer and implement policies relating to the provision of goods and services to the Ministry, its Missions abroad and other Government departments;
- co - ordinate and monitor the movement of diplomatic bags; and
- enforce compliance with standing Security Instructions.