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Canada agonize readmitting Zanu PF into Commonwealth - trade democracy for ED's company, gold for fool's gold

09 Feb 2023 at 19:22hrs | Views
"After allowing a wave of authoritarian regimes to become members in recent years, the Commonwealth and member states such as Canada are now pondering one of their toughest dilemmas: whether to approve Zimbabwe's bid to re-join their club," reported The Globe & Mail.

"The timing would be awkward. As he prepares for an election this year, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has become even more repressive than his notorious predecessor, Robert Mugabe, crushing opposition meetings and imprisoning activists. But after other autocrats were permitted to join, the Commonwealth might now find it difficult to draw the line at Zimbabwe.

"A high-level delegation, sent by the Commonwealth Secretariat to Zimbabwe last November to study the situation, met Mr. Mnangagwa and praised the country for its "very impressive progress" - but provided little evidence for the comment. Its findings are now being drafted in an "informal assessment report," but the process is veiled in complete secrecy.

"Please note that the informal assessment reports are restricted to Commonwealth member governments and are not for public consumption," said a spokesperson for the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, who did not give her full name.

"Canada, too, is declining to say whether Zimbabwe should be readmitted to the Commonwealth, although its diplomats have been discussing the issue informally for months."

Of course, Canada, UK and any Commonwealth country with any democratic credentials worth a spit know that admitting autocratic regimes like that of President Paul Kagame of Rwanda into the Commonwealth was a big mistake. And now they are loathed at compounding that mistake by readmitting unrepentant prodigal Zanu PF regime.

These nations know they are giving up the Commonwealth's democratic values and principles of rule of law and free elections to appease the tyrannical ruling elite for the pleasure of their company. Trading gold for fool's gold! Of course, the democratic nations are ashamed and hence the reason why the decision to readmit Zimbabwe is being conducted under a veil of secrecy. Let's lift the veil and peek!

Admitting Rwanda into the Commonwealth led by the tyrannical regime of President Paul Kagame, knowing fully well he is a tyrant, is like letting a skunk into the house you cannot complain of the smell nor expect it to stop being a skunk. President Kagame has robustly rebuffed all pressure to implement democratic reforms. Having lowed the bar of democratic values and principles to get Rwanda admitted, the Commonwealth leaders have since discovered they could not raise the bar back up. And as far as President Kagame is concerned, the lowed position is the new normal!

Indeed, President Kagame has used the Commonwealth platform to pontificate and harangue neutrals and critics alike about Rwanda's autocratic system of government as the new "African democracy". Of course, it is nonsense, the right to a meaningful say in the governance of one's country is not only a universal right but the very foundation of good governance and social justice and cohesion - the very things Africa is dying for.

It is not surprise that President Paul Kagame is one of the Commonwealth leaders demanding the readmission of Zimbabwe into the Commonwealth with no conditions attached. If it was up to him alone, President Kagame would have readmitted Zimbabwe before the 2023 elections even in the face of the evidence Zanu PF is rigging the elections.

Well if Zimbabwe is readmitted before the 2023 elections, expect in August at the latest, and Mnangagwa blatantly rigs the plebiscite; the Commonwealth will regret the discussion. For having booted Zimbabwe out for fragrant disregard of the democratic principles and values and readmit the country knowing fully well the country had not repented, it would be idiotic to boot the country out of the club a second time. And yet foolish not to!

If Zimbabwe blatantly rig the 2023 elections and the Commonwealth does punish the Zanu PF regime, then many other Commonwealth countries will replicate Zanu PF's vote rigging antics confident they too will get away with it. The rock bottom democratic values Zanu PF will have set will be considered the new normal.

Zimbabwe and all the other nations aspiring for democracy and good governance will be better off leaving the Commonwealth to join other bodies who still value rule of law and free elections. To remain in the Commonwealth will be to join the autocratic rat-race to the bottom in the name of African Democracy, Paul Kagame's new Pan Africanism.

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