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Zimbabwe honorary consul appointed

Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Jim Sutton announced the appointment of New Zealand's first Honorary Consul in Harare, Zimbabwe, today.

He said the appointment of Washington Matsaira as our Honorary Consul would go some way to reassure Zimbabwe authorities that we want to maintain links between our two countries following the recent closure of the mission in Harare.

"Though our post has closed we do not envisage a significant change to our relationships with Zimbabwe and neighbouring countries, just a change in the machinery used to conduct them."

Mr Matsaira is the first local Chief Executive of the Standard Chartered Bank's Zimbabwe operation and, among several other positions, was CEO of Standard Chartered in Uganda.

While in Kampala, he was the Honorary Consul for Finland.

Mr Sutton said that given Mr Matsaira's background, New Zealand felt he would play a valuable role in helping the High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa, look after New Zealand's interests and carrying out the usual range of consular duties.

As New Zealand's sole diplomatic post in Africa, the High Commission in Pretoria will act as a regional hub and is accredited to 11 countries.

Mr Matsira is one of only three honorary consuls appointed to help the High Commission foster New Zealand's links in southern and eastern Africa.

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