KIGALI – Zimbabwe’s bid to join the group of Commonwealth nations hit a snag after the economic bloc snubbed the troubled African country while it admitted two former French colonies at the weekend.
The meeting of the bloc’s leaders in Kigali, Rwanda, ended on Saturday with no word on Zimbabwe’s readmission application.
However, the Commonwealth admitted two former French colonies, Gabon and Togo, as its 55th and 56th members.
The Commonwealth is a free association of sovereign states, made up of the United Kingdom and a number of its former colonies and interested parties who have chosen relations based on friendship and practical cooperation, and recognize the British monarch as the symbolic leader of their association.
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Zimbabwe continues to push to join the Commonwealth, 18 years after the country was pulled out of the group by the late former President Robert Mugabe in 2003 over land expropriation misunderstanding.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government applied to join the group on May 15, 2018, a year after Mugabe was ousted in a military coup but nothing has materialised.
At the CHOGM 2022 there was no movement from the group, which has consistently cited human rights abuses and the lack of rule of law as obstacles to Zimbabwe’s recovery.
According to details provided by the bloc, the inclusion of Togo and Gabon was based on the assessment of several standards such as democratic process, good governance and rule of law.