Dr. Wilibrod Slaa’s Lost benefits: Life After Diplomatic Status Revocation.

Dr. Wilibrod Slaa’s Lost benefits: Life After Diplomatic Status Revocation.

In a surprising and unexpected development, a government letter from the Information Department of the Tanzanian State House under President Samia Suluhu announced that Wilibrod Slaa had been stripped of his diplomatic status since yesterday, September 1, 2023.

Wilibrod Slaa served as Tanzania’s ambassador to Sweden, having been appointed by the late President John Pombe Magufuli in 2017 until September 2021, when he retired from the position and returned to Tanzania.

There have been many questions and inquiries about the advantages and disadvantages of holding diplomatic status, and Taifa Daily has prepared answers to these questions.

Taifa Daily interviewed Mr. Gonde, a lecturer at the College of Foreign Relations in Dar es Salaam, for insights on this matter, and his responses were as follows:

Mr. Gonde explained that diplomatic status is a privilege granted solely by the President worldwide, as stipulated in the Vienna Convention of 1961. This status can be revoked from an individual at any time by the appointing authority.

When a person is granted diplomatic status, it means they are considered a “Statesman,” someone of a significantly different status than an ordinary citizen. This individual can represent the government, speak on its behalf, and be assigned special tasks by the government for the nation’s broader interests.

The lecturer further explained that the title of “Ambassador” supersedes all other titles and social statuses, such as professor, pastor, or any other social rank.

It is unnecessary for an ambassador to have a specific workstation; the President can appoint an ambassador who remains in the country to advise the government on various matters. Therefore, Dr. Slaa (74) could have continued to serve in the country if needed. However, due to his recent actions that were perceived as jeopardising the broader national interests, the Presidency under President Samia Suluhu has decided to revoke his diplomatic status, and he will now lose all the privileges he enjoyed through that position.

Dr. Slaa and his wife will now be required to return their diplomatic passports to the government and use regular passports. He will no longer receive VIP treatment at domestic and international airports, as he will be regarded as an ordinary citizen, and he is prohibited from reusing the title of ambassador.

Mr Gonde concluded by emphasising that being stripped of diplomatic status is a significant disgrace, as it openly demonstrates betrayal and a lack of trust in the authority that appointed you to that position.