Commonwealth sets stringent conditions for Zim readmission

Abel Karowangoro

The Commonwealth has outlined stringent conditions for Zimbabwe’s potential readmission into the organisation, while simultaneously acknowledging the country’s valuable membership for the first time.
The Commonwealth, an intergovernmental organisation comprised of 54 member states, suspended Zimbabwe’s membership in 2002 due to concerns over electoral irregularities and human rights violations.
The decision comes as Zimbabwe early climbing to the forthcoming general elections and guided on the conduct during the elections, said UK Official said.

Andrew Mitchell UK Minister of Foreign Commonwealth said during a House of Commons debate on Friday while responding to the questions from Ruth Jones Shadow Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Mitchell also denied that UK planned a ministerial visit to Southern African Development Community (SADC)country.

“We recognise the value of having Zimbabwe back in the Commonwealth, but any re-entry would need to be on the basis that Zimbabwe meets admission requirements and is able to uphold the values and principles set out in the Commonwealth Charter,” Michell said.

He further stressed that Zimbabwe must demonstrate tangible and sustained efforts in meeting these conditions.

Mitchell also said that the upcoming general elections will play an important role for Zimbabwe to rejoin the Commonwealth.

“Zimbabwe’s General Elections this August present a clear opportunity for the Government to demonstrate progress against the principles of the Charter, namely respect for human rights and freedom for the political opposition, civil society and media to operate,” he said.

The stringent conditions imposed by the Commonwealth reflect a cautious approach, emphasising the need for substantive improvements and credible reforms in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe has been working towards reinstatement and reengaging with the global community.

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