‘Zimbabwe negotiating to rejoin Commonwealth’

Minister of Foreign Affairs retired Major-General Sibusiso Moyo

FOREIGN Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo told Parliament yesterday Zimbabwe was negotiating its way to rejoin the Commonwealth Club, following the country’s unceremonious departure in 2003 over disputed presidential election results.

BY VENERANDA LANGA

“The current position is that there are no impediments whatsoever as to why Zimbabwe would be averse to rejoining the Commonwealth,” Moyo said.

“In fact, the process at the moment is that there are necessary processes and consultations taking place, which should inform the Executive, so that the process of rejoining the Commonwealth can be undertaken.”

Moyo said Zimbabwe extricated itself from the Commonwealth more than two decades ago for political reasons.

“It was a resolution which was taken, particularly at a Zanu PF conference, and it informed government then, and it was as a result of that there were disagreements between issues of certain values to the Commonwealth and the priorities of national interest as a country. The country then withdrew itself from the Commonwealth after its suspension,” he said.

The fast-track land redistribution programme was among some of the contentious issues that caused Zimbabwe’s fallout with its former colonial master — Britain — which superintends over the Commonwealth club.

In an unrelated matter, MPs pressed Health minister David Parirenyatwa to issue a ministerial statement today to explain government position regarding doctors’ nationwide strike.

Southerton MP Gift Chimanikire (MDC-T) said government should urgently call the army doctors to assist to avert further deaths at hospitals.

Makokoba MP Tshinga Dube (Zanu PF) had first raised the issue, saying that he was receiving calls that at Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo, people were dying in numbers due to the strike.

Acting leader of the House, Joram Gumbo, said government discussed the issue in Cabinet and was working out a solution. – NewsDay