Simbarashe Simbaneduku Mumbengegwi
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Date of Birth: 20/07/1945
Place of Birth: Chivi
Career: Youth League, National Democratic Party, 1960-61; Youth League, Zimbabwe African People’s Union, 1962; Youth League, Zimbabwe African National Union, 1963-64; deputy ZANU chief representative, Australia and Far East, 1973-76; ZANU chief representative, Australia and Far East, 1976-78; ZANU chief representative, Zambia, 1978-80; Member of Parliament for the Midlands, 1980-85; Deputy Speaker, 1980-81; Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs,1982; Minister of Water Resources and Development, 1982; Minister of National Housing, 1982-84; Minister of Public Construction and National Housing, 1984-88; Minister of Transport, 1988-90; Zimbabwe’s ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations, 1990-95;Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg and the European Union,1995-99; Zimbabwe’s ambassador to the United Kingdom and Ireland, 1999-2005; Minister of Foreign Affairs, 2005-;
Commentary: Mumbengegwi has been a loyal member of ZANU-PF since
his youth in the 1960s. He belongs to the elite group that comprised
people like Simba Makoni and Witness Mangwende who kept
the party and the liberation struggle going through fundraising during
their student days overseas. His key role in sustaining the party was
rewarded by important diplomatic posts. He was first posted to the
United Nations when the country needed funds for its economic
structural adjustment programme and wanted to maintain good relations
with the international community as it was virtually a one-party state
at a time when that system was crumbling across the world. He was then
sent to the European Union when Zimbabwe needed to lobby for funds for
its land reform programme. When relations with Britain began to sour
and Mugabe embarked on his controversial fast track land reform
programme which saw him compulsorily taking farms from mainly white
farmers, Mumbengegwi was at hand to patch things up as ambassador to
the UK. He was finally rewarded by being appointed Foreign Affairs
minister. He even managed to retain the post after the formation of the
Mumbengegwi has not displayed any presidential ambitions. He belongs to one of the few families trusted by Mugabe.
At one stage he held the powerful post of Foreign Affairs while his
brother held the even more powerful post of Finance. He has shied away
from political bickering between the factions within ZANU-PF but if
forced to make a choice he would be likely to side with fellow Karanga Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Vol 55 N0 9
One example of this was the attack by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chris Mutsvangwa, on Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and his Permanent Secretary, Joey Bimha...
Vol 54 N0 19
• Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Mugabe's loyal retainer, stays on at the Foreign Ministry, although he lacks the flair of his predecessor, the late Stanislaus Mudenge...
Vol 52 N0 13
Foreign Minister Simbarashe Simbaneduku Mumbengegwi, a practised cheerleader for Mugabe, summoned African and Asian officials to tell them that in the language of diplomacy, ‘noting’ the Troika report was akin to rejecting it – therefore another triumph for Mugabe...
Vol 51 N0 4
BOTSWANA | ZIMBABWE
Harare’s Foreign Ministry took another week to react, claiming that the Minister, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, had been abroad, an implausible excuse in the age of internet and mobile telephones...
Vol 50 N0 4
) Obert Moses Mpofu (Mines), Webster Shamu (Information), Patrick Chinamasa (Justice and Legal Affairs), Simbarashe Mumbengegwi (Foreign Affairs), Walter Mzembi (Tourism), Herbert Murerwa (Lands and Land Resettlement) and Francis D...
Vol 49 N0 13
Zimbabwe’s Foreign Minister, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, challenged Mwanawasa’s right to discuss the observer mission without consulting Mbeki, the official mediator on Zimbabwe...