The Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has officially applied to rejoin the Commonwealth and invited groups of observers from member states of the Commonwealth to send observers to its general elections set for July this year.
Zimbabwe quit Commonwealth in 2003 when the then President Robert Mugabe left the group after he came under heavy criticism over controversial elections and seizures of lands from the white farmers.
The Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said that Zimbabwe applied to rejoin the group on May 15.
Commonwealth’s Patricia Scotland said the member countries “very much look forward to Zimbabwe’s return when the conditions are right.”
— The Commonwealth (@commonwealthsec) May 21, 2018
“Zimbabwe’s eventual return to the Commonwealth, following a successful membership application, would be a momentous occasion, given our shared rich history,” Scotland said.
Ms. Scotland added: “Zimbabwe’s eventual return to the Commonwealth, following a successful membership application, would be a momentous occasion.”
Mr President @edmnangagwa you are joining the commonwealth without consulting the people of Zimbabwe.Why why why.Where is democracy in that process.
The British had a referendum to pull out of the European Union.They debated it in parliament and put it to a vote. So why not us! pic.twitter.com/yi8PgdgiBJ
— Doctor Tsotsi (@ginothesaint) May 22, 2018
Patricia Scotland called for “a credible, peaceful and inclusive (election) that restores citizens’ confidence, trust, and hope in the development and democratic trajectory of their country.”
Britain has also welcomed the move of Zimbabwe. In last month, Britain said they would ‘strongly support’ Zimbabwe’s return to the platform.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson tweeted Monday: “Fantastic news that Zimbabwe … wishes to rejoin the Commonwealth.
Fantastic news that Zimbabwe 🇿🇼 wishes to rejoin the Commonwealth. Wonderful that this follows productive talks at April’s Commonwealth Summit in London. Zimbabwe must now show commitment to Commonwealth values of democracy and human rights.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) May 21, 2018
“Zimbabwe must now show commitment to Commonwealth values of democracy and human rights,” Johnson added.