Zim not desperate to rejoin Commonwealth

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GARIKAI FADZI

Zimbabwe is not desperate to be readmitted into the Commonwealth, says presidential spokesperson George Charamba. The country left the Commonwealth in December 2003 at the height of a diplomatic tiff between Harare and London.

Charamba said Zimbabwe and the Commonwealth nations would benefit if Harare was re-admitted into the club of Anglophone nations. “It takes two to tango;” Charamba explained. “There is much to be gotten from the British government by a Zimbabwe that rejoins the Commonwealth as there is from Zimbabwe which rejoins the Commonwealth. It is a two-way process. “Moreover, no one should ever labour under the illusion that Zimbabwe is dying to rejoin the Commonwealth. We are doing so as part of our re-engagement process with the world for mutual gain, not for one-sided gain at all.”

Charamba said Zimbabwe’s target was to become a middle-income economy by the year 2030 as announced by the President. “It means economic reforms, recovering our economy; it means we have to make sure we are a food-secure nation. It means we move ahead in partnership with countries that have goodwill, and off-course for those which do not wish us well too bad for them. We move on,” he said.

On last week’s violent protests, Charamba, who is also the deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet in charge of Presidential Communications, said the culprits would be brought to book.

“Whenever you have heard of lawlessness, necessarily you will have the guilty ones who will try to keep away from the reach of the law.

Except it does not quite serve them,” Charamba said. “I think it is in their interests to make sure that they present themselves before the law enforcement agents, defend themselves, and in the fullness of time establish whether they have a case to answer.

“And this is precisely how we are going. If you have done something wrong, certainly you have something to worry about. We will not have the mayhem, which happened last week.”

He said President Emmerson Mnangagwa had committed to upholding the rule of law. “If you dabble on the wrong side of the law, necessarily, the law comes back to hit you and don’t cry. I am sure it is not an intention of this government to operate outside the law,” Charamba said.