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Mnangagwa Applies to Re-join Commonwealth

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Government of Zimbabwe has applied re-join the Commonwealth as part of President Emmerson Mnangagwa administration’s re-engagement process with the world aimed at ending the country’s years of isolation from the global community.

In a press statement released today, the Commonwealth confirmed receiving a letter from Mnangagwa’s office dated 15 May 2018 expressing excitement at the prospects of Zimbabwe’s return to the block.

“I wholeheartedly echo the sentiments of Heads of Government who have said twice, in 2009 and subsequently in 2011, that they very much look forward to Zimbabwe’s return when the conditions are right.

“Zimbabwe’s eventual return to the Commonwealth, following a successful membership application, would be a momentous occasion, given our shared rich history,” said Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland.

Zimbabwe joined the Commonwealth on its independence in 1980 and withdrew from the organisation in 2003 following misunderstandings with the organisation over the widely disputed 2002 harmonized elections.

However, the group made up of former British colonies reiterated that it will not be a straw in the park of Zimbabwe is to re-join.

“To re-join, Zimbabwe must demonstrate that it complies with the fundamental values set out in the Commonwealth Charter, including democracy and rule of law plus protection of human rights such as freedom of expression.

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“The membership process requires an informal assessment to be undertaken by representatives of the Secretary-General, followed by consultations with other Commonwealth countries.

“Zimbabwe has also invited the Commonwealth to observe its forthcoming elections in July. The Secretariat is now mobilising a team of observers to do so – and their observations will form part of the Secretary-General’s informal assessment,” said the Commonwealth in the statement.

“I urge the government, opposition parties, the election management body, civil society, and all stakeholders, to play their part in ensuring a credible, peaceful and inclusive process that restores citizens’ confidence, trust and hope in the development and democratic trajectory of their country,” stated Secretary-General Scotland.

Since assuming power last, Mnangagwa has been preaching the re-engagement process for Zimbabwe with, mainly, Western countries, who, for close to two decades, were seen as hostile to Zimbabwe by the former President, Robert Mugabe.

Zimbabwe, voluntarily pulled out of the Commonwealth in 2003 after Mugabe accused the bloc of meddling in the political affairs of the country.

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