Zimbabwean Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Frederick Shava on Monday reaffirmed Zimbabwe’s commitment to rejoining the Commonwealth, a grouping of mainly former British colonies which it left in 2003 over governance issues.
Shava made the remarks during a meeting with a Commonwealth team that is in the country for a week-long visit to assess Zimbabwe’s suitability for readmission to the group.
The southern African country began to apply for readmission in 2018 after President Emmerson Mnangagwa took over power, and the Commonwealth has since made two assessment visits to Zimbabwe.
Shava said since the last assessment mission in 2019, the Zimbabwean government has made significant strides in the implementation of reforms and in meeting the five expectations critical to the country’s readmission.
“Zimbabwe’s wish to rejoin the Commonwealth is premised on our desire to play a meaningful role in the community of nations, open new frontiers of growth and development, and rekindle relationships with erstwhile friends,” Shava said.
The Commonwealth team led by Luis Franceschi, assistant secretary-general, is expected to meet with government and civil society officials during its visit.
Shava said Zimbabwe was forging ahead with political and economic reforms to improve the lives and livelihoods of citizens in line with the country’s vision of achieving an upper-middle-income society by 2030. To date, the government has made tremendous strides in enhancing its citizens’ civil and political rights and aligning laws to the constitution, he added.