Ambassador Stuart Harold Comberbach

Stuart Harold Comberbach is a Zimbabwean diplomat and politician, he was reassigned during the reshuffle of September 2018 to serve as a Special Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs And International Trade under the late Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo. On 4 March 2021 he was deployed as the new permanent representative to the United Nations replacing Frederick Shava who was appointed Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

He was Zimbabwe's Ambassador to Italy from 1994 to 1999, and later Ambassador to Japan and South Korea from 2003 to 2014, in 2014 Comberbach was named a Senior Advisor in the Office the President and Cabinet under former President Robert Mugabe. Born in Salisbury (today Harare), Comberbach joined the Rhodesian civil service in 1974 and is one of the few white civil servants remaining in Zimbabwe.

Personal Details

Comberbach was born on 27 September 1952 in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia (today Harare, Zimbabwe). He is married to Benedict Ann Comberbach.


He attended the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, graduating in 1974.


After graduating from Wits University in 1974, Comberbach returned to Rhodesia and joined the civil service the same year. He worked under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, serving in Gabon from 1975 to 1979. From 1987 to 1994, he was the head of the Zimbabwe Trade Mission in Johannesburg, South Africa. From 1994 to 1999, he served as Zimbabwe's Ambassador to Italy and the Permanent Representative of Zimbabwe to the United Nations' Food and Agricultural Organization. In Rome, he served on the UN Committee on World Food Security. He was Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Industry and International Trade from 1999 to 2002. He offered to resign from the civil service in 2001 when he made it clear that he opposed government price control policies that he believed would destroy the Zimbabwean economy. When Minister of Industry and International Trade Nkosana Moyo resigned unexpectedly in May 2001, Comberbach took over as temporary head of the ministry. At the time, a communication from the US Embassy in Harare described Comberbach as "one of the few senior whites remaining in government" and "a competent technocrat."[1] The report noted his close relationship to leading Zanu PF politician, the late Nathan Shamuyarira, but described him as a "political lightweight."

From 2003 to 2014, Comberbach served as the Ambassador of Zimbabwe to Japan and South Korea. He also served as Chairman of the African Diplomatic Corps in Japan, an arm of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) from January 2003 and May 2011. On 8 May 2015, Comberbach was honoured with the Order of the Rising Sun, along with 5 other foreign recipients at an event held in Tokyo. Later, a conferment ceremony was held in Harare, hosted by Japan's Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Yoshi Hiraishi. Minister of Welfare Services for War Veterans Christopher Mutsvangwa praised Comberbach for receiving the honour. In 2015, Comberbach's successor as Ambassador to Japan, Air Vice-Marshal Titus Abu-Basutu.

In September 2014, the late President Robert Mugabe appointed Comberbach as Senior Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet. His appointment was announced by Misheck Sibanda, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet. At the time, it was reported that he was one of the last white civil servants left in Zimbabwe. He was later assigned different areas of focus within the office of the President and Cabinet: in 2015, he became the Permanent Secretary for Corporate Governance, State Enterprises, and Delivery Unit. In September 2018, President Emmerson Mnangagwa appointed new advisors, and Comberbach was assigned the new portfolio of Special Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

Foreign Honours

  • Japan: Order of the Rising Sun (2015)[2]


In September 2018, President Emmerson Mnangagwa appointed new permanent secretaries, reassigned others and retired some others, under the Second Republic.

  • Deputy Chief Secretary-Presidential Communications: former Secretary for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services George Charamba,
  • Secretary to the Service Commissions: Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe.
  • Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services: TBA.
  • Permanent Secretary, Primary and Secondary Education: TBA.
  • Permanent Secretary for Defence and War Veterans: retained by Martin Rushwaya
  • Permanent Secretary for Finance and Economic Development: George Tongesayi Guvamatanga
  • Permanent Secretary for Energy and Power Development: Gloria Magombo.
  • Permanent Secretary for Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development: Rudo Chitiga.
  • Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage: Melusi Matshiya.
  • Permanent Secretary for Transport and Infrastructural Development: Amos Marawa.
  • Permanent Secretary for Local Government, Public Works and National Housing: George Magosvongwe.
  • Permanent Secretary for Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development: Fanuel Tagwira.
  • Permanent Secretary for Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate: Ringson Chitsiko (retained).
  • Permanent Secretary for Health and Child Care: Brigadier-General Gerald Gwinji (retained).
  • Permanent Secretary for Industry and Commerce: Mavis Sibanda
  • Permanent Secretary for Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry: Munesushe Munodawafa (moving from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development).
  • Permanent Secretary for Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare: James Manzou.
  • Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade: Judith Kateera replacing Joey Bimha.
  • Permanent Secretary for Mines and Mining Development Information: Onesimo Moyo.
  • Permanent Secretary for Communication Technology and Courier Services: Samuel Kundishora (retained).
  • Permanent Secretary for Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation: Thokozile Chitepo (former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry).
  • Permanent Secretary for Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs: Virginia Mabhiza (retained).

President Mnangagwa had also re-assigned senior officials who included permanent secretaries, principal directors and equivalent grades to other duties.

Senior Officials: Ray C Ndhlukula, Pretty Sunguro, Washington Mbizvo, Ambassador Stuart Comberbach, Ambassador Nicholas Kitikiti, Willard Manungo, Prince Mupazviriho and Desire Sibanda.

Officials: Abigail Shoniwa, Ambassador Grace Mutandiro, Sibusisiwe Zembe, Ambassador Mary Mubi, Ozias Hove, Clemence Masango, Eghpha Jokomo, Simon Masanga, Eria Phiri, Clifford Matorera, Innocent Tizora.

Retired: Ngoni Masoka, Partson Mbiriri, Ambassador Joey Bimha, Ambassador Boniface Chidyausiku, Tobaiwa Mudede, Ambassador Kelebert Nkomani, Ethel Mlalazi, Anne Knuth and Valentine Vera.



  1. [1], News24, Published: 25 September, 2014, Accessed: 22 January, 2021
  2. Diana Nherera, [2], The Herald, Published: 25 May, 2015, Accessed: 22 January, 2021
  3. ED reshuffles permanent secretaries, The Herald, Published: 20 September 2018, Retrieved: 17 April 2020