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Zimbabwe still pursuing Commonwealth return

by Staff Reporter
27 Jan 2019 at 11:46hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE is hopeful that its bid to re-join the Commonwealth in fulfilment of the country's re-engagement exercise will succeed despite murmurs of disapproval from British House of Lords.

In an interview with the Sunday News, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said it was not fair for the international community to judge the new dispensation on the background of the politically motivated skirmishes that punctuated the country a fortnight ago.

She said the bid to rejoin the Commonwealth was not determined by the House of Lords which had taken it upon itself to predetermine whether or not Zimbabwe should be readmitted.

"I do not think it is fair for the international community to judge Zimbabwe and the new dispensation on the edge and background of what happened. What happened is regrettable and does not in any way define the culture of the Zimbabwean socio-political terrain. That is definitely not the course that the new dispensation wants the country to move going forward, that is why the Government intervened swiftly and put corrective measures that brought peace and sanity.

"Joining the Commonwealth is just part of fulfilling the country's re-engagement initiatives. We want to be part of the global community that is why we are even engaging with the Bretton Woods Institutions - the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and every other willing partner," she said.

Minister Mutsvangwa added that the people were happy with the interventions of the Government and urged patience, saying the Government was grounded in the problems that its citizens were facing and was doing all to make socio-economic progress.

Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Mr George Charamba echoed the same sentiments saying Zimbabwe was not dying to join the bloc but was doing it as part of its re-engagement drive.

"The sentiments on prospects of Zimbabwe rejoining the Commonwealth overlook a very basic fact namely that it is the British government which wanted Zimbabwe back into the Commonwealth. We related positively to that indication because it coincided with our policy of re-engagement," said Mr Charamba.

He said Britain would also benefit if Zimbabwe was to rejoin the Commonwealth. "It takes two to tango. There is much to be got from the British government by a Zimbabwe that rejoins the Commonwealth as there is from Zimbabwe which rejoins the Commonwealth. It's a two-way process and no one should ever labour under the illusion that Zimbabwe is dying to rejoin the Commonwealth.

"We are doing so as part of our re-engagement with the world for mutual gain not for one sided gain," Mr Charamba said.

Before being succeeded by Melanie Robinson as British ambassador to Zimbabwe, Catriona Laing confirmed last year that the United Kingdom was supportive of Harare re-joining the international organisation. Zimbabwe left the Commonwealth at the height of a diplomatic tiff between Harare and London in December 2003.

Asked by journalists on the prospects of Zimbabwe re-joining the organisation, Ambassador Laing said then that: "I understand the President had a meeting with Honourable (Patricia) Scotland (Commonwealth secretary general) in New York. That process as I understand it, has started but it wouldn't formally conclude until the next Commonwealth Summit, which will be in Malaysia in 2020."

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Source - SundayNews