Zimbabwe’s Commonwealth plans on course: Govt

Zimbabwe’s efforts to rejoin the Commonwealth are on course, despite negative perceptions created by detractors, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Sibusiso Moyo has said.

Responding in the Senate, Minister Moyo said Zimbabwe looked forward to the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda next year.

“There are individual member States who express their reservations in terms of their perception of what is going on in this country and who may want to link up what is going on here with whether they would take a position to support us to rejoin the Commonwealth or not,” he said.

“Nevertheless, as far as the systemic process of rejoining the Commonwealth in terms of the secretariat is concerned, so far everything is on course.”

Minister Moyo was responding to a question from Manicaland Senator Douglas Mwonzora, who wanted to know progress on Zimbabwe’s readmission to the Commonwealth in the context of concerns by British Parliament on the human rights situation in the country.

“Some Member States or some British House of Commons Members think that there were serious breaches of human rights abuses, but that is their perception,” he said.

“Whether it is true or not, that is something which is different, but I think you are aware as an Honourable Member that some of the events that characterised those periods have been investigated, subject to a Commission of Enquiry and police investigations, as well as a matrix that is dealing with various activities.”

Minister Moyo said some of the organisations claimed that Zimbabwe banned demonstrations, which was not true.

“What they say is their perception in as far as human rights abuses are concerned,” he said.

“They believe that this Government has banned demonstrations for good or something like that.

“As far as I know, it is not the policy of this Government to ban peaceful marches and demonstrations — that is not the case.” – Herald