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Zimbabwe applies to re-join Commonwealth

Zimbabwe has applied to re-join the Commonwealth and has also invited the organization to observe the coming elections.

A report on the Commonwealth website say Zimbabwe applied on 15 May through a letter written by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to Commonwealth secretary-general Patricia Scotland.

Scotland welcomed Zimbabwe’s application, adding: “I whole-heartedly 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.”

Zimbabwe left the organisation in 2013 and must demonstrate that it complies 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 to rejoin.

Mnangagwa has pledged to hold free, fair, credible and transparent elections and says he will announce the election date by the end of this month.

“I urge the government, opposition parties, the election management body, civil society, and all stakeholders, to play their part in ensuring a credible, peaceful and inclusive process that restores citizens’ confidence, trust and hope in the development and democratic trajectory of their country,” Scotland said.

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