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Zimbabwe makes Commonwealth inroads?

by Staff reporter
28 Feb 2023 at 07:36hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE continues to make headway in its quest to rejoin the Commonwealth after a Cabinet minister was invited to attend the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisations Ministerial Alliance for Digital Nations meeting in the United Kingdom.

This invitation, analysts say, portends well for Zimbabwe, which has been receiving positive signals from the Commonwealth since expressing its desire to rejoin the organisation under the leadership of President Mnangagwa.

At the ongoing Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisations Ministerial Alliance meeting, Zimbabwe is represented by the Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Jenfan Muswere.

The invitation of Minister Muswere comes in the backdrop of a visit by a Commonwealth delegation led by the organisation's Assistant Secretary-General, Professor Luis Franceschi, that came to Zimbabwe in November last year and acknowledged that Harare has made tremendous progress in laying the desired foundation for re-admittance into the club of mainly former British colonies.

In 2022, ZimTrade joined the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council and also participated at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) business forum in Rwanda.

Political analyst Advocate Obert Gutu said the continued invitation of Zimbabwe, now at the ministerial level, to Commonwealth meetings, is testimony of the success of the engagement and re-engagement policy.

"This is a very huge indicator of better and bigger things to come. To all intents and purposes, Zimbabwe's re-admission into the Commonwealth is now just but a mere formality. It's a question of when, exactly, and certainly not whether Zimbabwe will be readmitted."

He commended President Mnangagwa's diplomatic thrust saying it is very quiet but at the same time, effective and impactful.

"His mantra that Zimbabwe is a friend to everyone and an enemy to none has been a masterstroke," Adv Gutu said.

A political analyst and researcher Mr Alex Munyonga said the Commonwealth is now viewing Zimbabwe through a new window.

The invitation to the Commonwealth meeting in London, he said, also proves the praxis associated with the Second Republic when it comes to the engagement and re-engagement drive.

"Instead of diplomatic posturing, the Commonwealth is taking the dialogue path. The invitation of Zimbabwe to participate at a Commonwealth meeting under the Second Republic is ample evidence that most Western countries are realising that a hostile gaze at Zimbabwe is unjustified and a product of unfounded hatred," said Mr Munyonga.

He said that it was unfortunate and worrying that despite overtures by Zimbabwe to re-join the Commonwealth coupled with implementation of far reaching reforms, some rogue elements within the body are unjustifiably campaigning against Zimbabwe's readmission.

"It is worrying that despite a

recent assessment team from the Commonwealth confirming that Zimbabwe had made giant strides towards meeting conditions for readmission, some critics within the Commonwealth and other interested parties still blemish Zimbabwe's progress," he said.

Political analyst Mr Gibson Nyikadzino said ultimately Zimbabwe is seeking to draw the economic dividends of partnerships borne out of overlapping membership of various organisations through the manifestation of economic diplomacy.

"This is an exercise of global interdependence among countries in the Commonwealth in search of common ways to improve and benefit our respective economies,'' he said.

Another political analyst Dr Hamadziripi Dube said the latest developments indicate that Zimbabwe's readmission into the Commonwealth is imminent.

"President Mnangagwa is tirelessly pushing for reconciliation and re-engagement. We as a nation are positive because we are friends to everyone," he said.

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 56 independent and equal countries.

It is home to 2,5 billion people and includes both advanced economies and developing countries.

The last two countries to join the Commonwealth were Gabon and Togo in 2022.

Source - The Herald