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"Commonwealth Eager To Have Zimbabwe Back"

The Commonwealth and its secretary general, Patricia Scotland, are interested in having Zimbabwe rejoin the group, an official has said.

Zimbabwe withdrew its membership from the group of 56 member states, the vast majority of which are former territories of the British Empire, in the early 2000s when disagreements emerged between Harare and London reportedly over the land reform programme and a breakdown in the rule of law.

Harare applied to re-join the Commonwealth in 2018, about a year after then-president, Robert Mugabe, was forced to resign by the military.

A team from the Commonwealth secretariat is currently in Harare assessing the country’s suitability to rejoin.

Speaking at a meeting of his team and government officials from various government Ministries on Monday, the Head of the delegation, Luis Franceschi, said:

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,” he said at a meeting of his team and government officials from various government Ministries.

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.

Zimbabwe has approached this matter of coming back to the family with wisdom. At worst it should not be guided by instinct, and by emotions and I would encourage everyone in Zimbabwe to treat this matter in the same spirit.

It (coming back into the Commonwealth) is not political, coming or not coming back is not a success or failure of any political party, or political side but is something that is being pursued and we perceive this, as the commonwealth, as something that is best for the people of Zimbabwe.

There is no perfect country in the world, we are aware of that. There is no perfect country in the Commonwealth, there is no perfect nation.

The Commonwealth represents a group of countries that are trying to do the right thing for their people.

Speaking at the same occasion, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Frederick Shava said since the last Commonwealth assessment mission in July 2019, Zimbabwe had made significant progress to try and meet the five expectations that are critical to the country’s re-admission. | New Ziana

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