Zimbabwe, Commonwealth reunion beckons

President Mnangagwa

THE country is on its way to rejoining the Commonwealth with President Mnangagwa yesterday saying there were no more impediments to Zimbabwe hooking up with the club of former British colonies.

In an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, President Mnangagwa said misunderstandings over the land reform programme saw Zimbabwe parting ways with the Commonwealth, but that was now water under the bridge as the land expropriation exercise was done and dusted.

Asked if Zimbabwe was going to rejoin the Commonwealth, President Mnangagwa responded: “One of the major things, which the envoy from Prime Minister Theresa May, a Mr Stuart, who came to see me within an hour of my inauguration — one of the issues he raised was that Prime Minister May would want to know whether I will be joining the Commonwealth.

“My reply was that at the time Zimbabwe left the Commonwealth it was on the issue of the land reform, which was unfolding in Zimbabwe at the time and we differed on that.”

The President said such differences no longer exist.

“But now as far as we are concerned the land reform programme is behind us. All that is there now is the interrogation of it and say are there people with multiple farms and issues of vandalism and so on, but the issue is out and I believe most of the Commonwealth countries accept that the programme is done. So there is no impediment anymore between us and joining the Commonwealth,” said President Mnangagwa.

The country left the Commonwealth in 2003 after the former President Robert Mugabe, disagreed with the club’s decision to suspend Zimbabwe indefinitely at the Abuja Summit.

Zimbabwe had been suspended from the Commonwealth in 2002 following an election that was disputed by the international community.

Ever since he succeeded President Mugabe in November 2017, after the veteran leader resigned, following Operation Restore Legacy by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces that liberated the former President from criminals that were abusing him and the nation, President Mnangagwa has worked tirelessly to bring back the country to the community of nations after years of the burdensome pariah state status.

President Mnangagwa is also toiling to open the door for investors to come to Zimbabwe, which boosts of minerals ranging from diamonds, gold, copper, tin, lithium, iron ore to platinum, among other precious stones.

The Presidents heads to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the African Union Summit after Davos.