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Commonwealth team says taking Zimbabwe's application seriously

by Staff reporter
16 Nov 2022 at 05:18hrs | Views
COMMONWEALTH assistant secretary general Louis Franceschi has said Zimbabwe deserves a chance to re-join the organisation as long as Harare follows the fundamental values and principles of the 54-nation organisation.

A team comprising members of the organisation's secretariat is in the country to assess progress made in terms of complying with the criteria and procedures for re-admission or joining the organisation.

According to the head of the mission, Franceschi, Zimbabwe should reform and comply with the laid down principles.

These principles and fundamental values include transparency, public accounting systems, rule of law, democracy and good governance and the promotion of human rights.

"As such, these states must comply with the Commonwealth fundamental values and principles," he said.

"This is consistent with the on-going assessment on the report which the committee for membership adopted in 2007.

"Every state must therefore demonstrate that commitment, so to speak, for admission of membership."

He added, "Zimbabwe has come knocking on the doors of the Commonwealth. We do not take that for granted.

"The Commonwealth is not a club of former colonisers but a club of wonderful nations who are united in search of friendship.

"Zimbabwe has approached this matter of wanting to re-join the Commonwealth with wisdom, not being guided by emotions and instincts."

Franceschi continued; "I urge every Zimbabwean to hold this matter in the same spirit.

"If it's not political, coming or not coming back, if it is a success or failure, we perceive this the same way; what is best for the country.

"There is no perfect country in the world, and no perfect country in the Commonwealth, but there are receiving countries trying to do the best for their people."

During a meeting with the delegation this past Monday, Cabinet ministers presented reports on various issues with foreign affairs minister Fredrick Shava indicating that huge progress had been made in complying with Commonwealth demands.

Zimbabwe left the Commonwealth in 2003 at low point in relations with the West as Harare was criticised for its violent land reforms, political repression and poor human rights record.

However, after taking over power through a coup in 2017, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has sought to mend relations with the West and applied to re-join the Commonwealth as part of a so-called engagement and re-engagement policy.

Mnangagwa invited the Commonwealth delegation to assess progress made so far in Zimbabwe's quest for re-submission into the international body.

"I am grateful for the invitation extended to the Commonwealth secretariat by His Excellency Emmerson Mnangagwa to come and continue his process of re-engagement and assessment," said Franceschi.

"Zimbabwe and the Commonwealth are two parts of the same body and that is why the Secretary General has taken so much interest in being here and for Zimbabwe to come back to the family.

"This is good for the country and the Commonwealth people. We appreciate the re-engagement processes."

Source - NewZimbabwe