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Zimbabwe on course to rejoin Commonwealth – official

Zimbabwe is confident of rejoining the Commonwealth of former British colonies, with a senior official saying on Monday that the country’s application now undergoing consultations among the grouping’s 54 member states.

Zimbabwe's president Emmerson Mnangagwa Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)
Zimbabwe’s president Emmerson Mnangagwa Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade spokesperson Constance Chemwayi told the state-run Herald daily that Zimbabwe was in the second stage of a four-step process to rejoin the grouping.

The second stage involves Commonwealth secretary general Patricia Scotland consulting member states on whether Zimbabwe should be allowed back into the group.

“Commonwealth decisions are based on consensus and by that nature, every member is entitled to a say on the case of Zimbabwe,” Chemwayi said.

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She said laid down procedures for re-admission into the Commonwealth include a first step that involves an informal assessment by the secretary general. This stage was done in June 2018 and July 2019 when Scotland undertook missions to Harare to discuss with the Zimbabwean authorities.

“Following the second assessment mission in 2019, Zimbabwe’s application is currently in the consultation stage,” Chemwayi said.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa wrote to the Commonwealth secretary general in May 2018 expressing Zimbabwe’s willingness to return to the 54-member grouping after nearly two decades of estrangement.

Zimbabwe withdrew from the Commonwealth in 2003 at the height of tension between Harare and London over the land reform programme. JN/APA