Britain has said that it will support Zimbabwe’s re-entry into the Commonwealth, 15 years after the country left the bloc.
UK’s foreign office said it would support President Mnangagwa’s bid to re-enter the Commonwealth upon promising to reform its political institutions.
“The UK would strongly support Zimbabwe’s re-entry and a new Zimbabwe that is committed to political and economic reform that works for all its people,” the UK’s foreign office said in a statement.
Zimbabwe was indefinitely suspended from the Commonwealth after election irregularities, political persecution of opposition leaders, and vote rigging during Mugabe’s era.
Now, President Mnangagwa wants to re-attract investors back to Zimbabwe. Speaking at the Africa CEO Forum he said:
“Zimbabwe is now open for business.”
Furthermore, he hopes to win back the trust of the international community through the presidential election this year.
“We want fair, free, and credible elections. […] I would want that the United Nations should come, the EU should come […] If the Commonwealth were requesting to come, I am disposed to consider their application,” he said.
This will be the first election in Zimbabwe since independence without Mugabe on the ballot. Moreover, this year’s election will be different from other elections where the former president banned election observers.
A free and fair election in the country will go a long way in increasing investor confidence in Zimbabwe and probably revive the economy as well, which deteriorated during Mugabe’s period resulting in the use of US dollars in 2015 in place of the Zimbabwean dollars.
“The UK stands ready in friendship to support a Zimbabwe that fully embraces the rule of law, human rights and economic reform,” Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said.