Accessibility links

Breaking News

Zimbabwe Attends Commonwealth Meeting As It Negotiates Re-Entry

Britain Commonwealth 2
Britain Commonwealth 2

Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson met with his Zimbabwean counterpart Sibusiso Moyo Friday in London, after Britain said it would strongly support Zimbabwe's re-entry to the Commonwealth.

Zimbabwe left the Commonwealth network of 53 mostly former territories of the British Empire in 2003 after Robert Mugabe, who had ruled Zimbabwe from its independence in 1980, came under criticism over disputed elections and land seizures from white farmers.

In an interview with VOA's Zimbabwe Service, Moyo said Zimbabwe wants to re-enter the Commonwealth, but has to first consult with stakeholders in Zimbabwe to reverse the 2003 decision made by then President Mugabe to exit.

“Leadership desires that Zimbabwe rejoins the commonwealth. But there are processes which we have to follow and the most and critical process is the consultation of our own people who had made that demand in the first place, so that we don’t leave our own population behind, so that we can consult them so that they can give us authority to formally rejoin the Commonwealth.”

Britain praised President Emmerson Mnangagwa for impressive progress since Mugabe was toppled in a military coup but it said Mnangagwa, who became president following a military take-over, would still have to deliver on free and fair elections in July to win over Zimbabwe's critics at home and abroad.

Moyo - the general who went on state television in khaki fatigues last November to announce the military takeover - met Johnson, ministers from neighboring African states and Australia at a breakfast on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London.