Zimbabwe Not Ready to Rejoin Commonwealth - Mutodi

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Deputy Minister Energy Mutodi (file photo).
12 December 2019

Deputy Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Energy Mutodi yesterday said Zimbabwe does not harbour ambitions to join the Commonwealth labelling it a club of former colonies.

Mutodi said the country should only join the Commonwealth when there is mutual guarantee of respect and sovereignty.

This is despite concerted efforts by the President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government to lobby for the readmission of the country into the group.

"Re-joining the Commonwealth may be crucial to the UK & to Ambassador Melanie Robinson from one angle but to us there is no excitement in rejoining a club of former colonies without guarantee of mutual respect & sovereignty. The game of endless reforms is shameful," he said.

His comments followed statements by the British Ambassador Ms Melanie Robinson, who said Zimbabwe was still far from rejoining the Commonwealth as it is yet to complete political and economic reforms prescribed as a condition for readmission.

Ms Robinson was addressing the local media after paying a courtesy call on Vice President Constantino Chiwenga at his Munhumutapa Building offices in Harare on Monday.

"We discussed the Commonwealth issue, and from the beginning, the British have been very clear we would like to see Zimbabwe back in the Commonwealth. At a point were economic and political reform programmes are completed, and after seeing good progress on that, then it will be time to look at membership," she said.

Then-President Robert Mugabe pulled Zimbabwe out of the Commonwealth in 2003 after a meeting of the organisation's heads of government extended the country's suspension from its ranks.

The 53-member grouping of former British colonies had suspended Zimbabwe in 2002 following a presidential election marred by massive state-sponsored violence.

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