Zimbabwe applies to rejoin to Commonwealth after Mugabe's exit

Commonwealth says Zimbabwe's return would be a momentous occasion

  • Boris Johnson, the UK foreign secretary tweeted that Zimbabwe must now show commitment to Commonwealth values of democracy and human rights.
  • Zimbabwean president, Emmerson Mnangagwa vowed to hold fair and free elections.

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Zimbabwe has applied to re-join the Commonwealth and comply with the fundamental values set out in the Commonwealth Charter, including democracy and rule of law plus protection of human rights such as freedom of expression.

The country also invited the Commonwealth to observe its forthcoming elections in July.

The former president, Robert Mugabe pulled Zimbabwe out of the Commonwealth in 2003 after country's membership was suspended following disputed elections held the previous year.

The proposal came in a letter sent to the Secretary-General Patricia Scotland from Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa on May 9, 2018.

The Secretary-General while receiving the letter said: “I wholeheartedly echo the sentiments of Heads of Government who have said twice, in 2009 and subsequently in 2011, that they very much look forward to Zimbabwe’s return when the conditions are right.

“Zimbabwe’s eventual return to the Commonwealth, following a successful membership application, would be a momentous occasion, given our shared rich history,” she said.

Zimbabwean president, Emmerson Mnangagwa has vowed to hold fair and free elections and has pledged to revive the moribund economy by repairing international ties and attracting foreign investment.

Boris Johnson, UK foreign secretary tweeted on Monday: "Fantastic news that Zimbabwe ... wishes to rejoin the Commonwealth."

"Zimbabwe must now show commitment to Commonwealth values of democracy and human rights," Johnson added.

Zimbabwe will become the fifth country to re-join the Commonwealth- with 53 member countries.

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