Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) president Nelson Chamisa says the ruling Zanu PF party is standing in the way of the country’s readmission into the Commonwealth of Nations.
Zimbabwe was suspended from the organisation in 2002 on allegations of gross human rights violations, a collapse of rule of law and its shrinking democratic space before the late former President Robert Mugabe pulled Harare out of the Commonwealth in 2003.
Addressing journalists in Harare following a meeting with the visiting Commonwealth delegation that is in the country to assess progress made in terms of complying with the conditions for re-admission into the organisation, Chamisa said the country’s withdrawal was ill conceived.
“In any event the original withdrawal from the Commonwealth by Zimbabwe was partisan, ill conceived, not done in line with national interests, unilateral and we opposed it then as we oppose it now. It was not done in pursuant of common national interests. Currently Zanu PF and bad politics are standing in the way of Zimbabwe being readmitted into the Commonwealth. This is why we continue to speak to Zanu PF, to our colleagues across the political divide to also respect the need for good Governance, the need to respect their competitors, the need for respecting citizens so that we are able to start building bridges.
“We have seen that over the past two years our colleagues in Zanu Pf instead of building bridges they have decided to build walls. Instead of maintaining gates unto to the world, they have erected iron gates that obstructs our access to the world. We call for a value based principles driven, time bound and process benchmarked re-admission of Zimbabwe to the Commonwealth guided by the Commonwealth itself and the Harare Commonwealth declaration of 1991,” said Chamisa
He said next year’s elections should be a measure for the Commonwealth process to re-admit the country.
“The holding of credible free and fair elections should be a benchmark and a test case for a process to re-admit Zimbabwe into the Commonwealth and because of this we emphasize the environment that leads to elections in 2023 which has to be peaceful, inclusive ad credible so that the election itself is beyond contestation and disputation.” he said