from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – A DELEGATION of the Commonwealth is in Zimbabwe as part of the informal process of assessment regarding the country’s request for re-admission into the association.
Prof. Luis Franceschi, the Assistant Secretary-General, is leading the delegation, which will visit until Thursday.
The delegation is expected to meet President Emmerson Mnangagwa, members of the government and senior officials as well as opposition political parties, heads of diplomatic missions in Harare and civil society organisations.
Zimbabwe withdrew from the Commonwealth in 2002 following mounting pressure on allegations former President Robert Mugabe (now late) abused human rights, rigged elections and undermined the economy.
In 2018, Mnangagwa, in power since 2017, submitted an application to rejoin.
The Commonwealth stated that the process of re-admission entails several rigorous steps that all countries wishing to join must undertake.
These include countries’ adherence to the values enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter.
“An application to join the Commonwealth is not a time-bound process and is tailored to every applicant’s context,” it stated.
The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 56 independent countries.
It is home to 2,5 billion people.
Gabon and Togo are the last two countries to join, in 2022.
– CAJ News