Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa says a credible 2023 plebiscite should be a benchmark for the country’s readmission into the Commonwealth bloc.
Speaking during a press conference in Harare after meeting the visiting Commonwealth delegation that is assessing progress made in terms of complying with the criteria and procedures for re-admission, Chamisa said the 2023 elections should be a test case.
“The holding of credible free and fair elections should be a benchmark and a test case for a process to readmit Zimbabwe into the Commonwealth and because of this we emphasize the environment that leads to elections in 2023 which has to be peaceful, inclusive ad credible so that the election itself is beyond contestation and disputation.
“In any event the original withdrawal from the Commonwealth by Zimbabwe was partisan, ill conceived, not done in line with national interests, unilateral and we opposed it then as we oppose it now. It was not done in pursuant of common national interests. Currently Zanu PF and bad politics are standing in the way of Zimbabwe being readmitted into the Commonwealth. This is why we continue to speak to Zanu PF, to our colleagues across the political divide to also respect the need for good Governance, the need to respect their competitors, the need for respecting citizens so that we are able to start building bridges,” said Chamisa.
The CCC leader reiterated the need for a genuine dialogue underwritten by an independent facilitator.
“We make the position clear that as Zimbabweans we need to find each other, at the moment we have failed to find each other, we are talking at each other against each other. We need to start talking to each other to resolve our fundamental challenges, it takes two to tango. There is no nation that has one side, one party, a nation is all parties. We have to come together and reason as a people to resolve our issues so that we terminate disputed issues in politics, in national processes. Zimbabwe needs a sincere genuine national dialogue on political and electoral reforms underwritten and scaffolded by a credible arbiter, facilitator or a moderator so that the process is credible,” he said.
Head of the Commonwealth mission currently in the country, Professor Luis Franceschi met with government officials on Monday where he told the media that the bloc is interested in the re-admission of Zimbabwe.
“Zimbabwe and the Commonwealth are two parts of the same body and this is why the Commonwealth and also the secretary general has been so interested in Zimbabwe coming back to the family.
“We are here as colleagues, friends, not on an opposite side but we are on the same side walking with Zimbabwe hand in hand to see how we can get this process to a fruitful conclusion that I think the whole world and the whole Commonwealth would like to see,” Franceschi said.