Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs deputy minister David Musabayana said he had held meetings with influential people at the ongoing Commonwealth summit in Rwanda to discuss the country’s potential readmission.
The late former president, Robert Mugabe, withdrew Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth in 2003 after the country had been suspended for abusing human rights, rigging elections, and undermining the Zimbabwean economy.
This year, Zimbabwe was granted observer status at the 2022 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2022) underway in Kigali, Rwanda.
Deputy Minister Musabayana said Zimbabwe feels “humbled to be invited to attend as observers.” He added:
There is a lot of interest in Zimbabwe from Commonwealth member countries, who are keen to do business and invest in Zimbabwe.
Three Zimbabwean ministers have been attending side events at the summit such as the Commonwealth Women Forum and the Commonwealth Business Forum.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government submitted an application on May 15, 2018, to re-join the grouping of 54 countries following Mugabe’s ouster in 2017.
Countries such as the United Kingdom appeared ready to support Zimbabwe’s return to the Commonwealth, but the enthusiasm is gone following cases of human rights abuses and corruption in the southern African country.
Several government critics claimed to have been kidnapped and abused by suspected state security agents.
Authorities dismiss the said human rights abuses as staged by the opposition to tarnish the country’s image.