UK wants Zimbabwe back in the Commonwealth

The UK has said it would “strongly support Zimbabwe’s re-entry to the Commonwealth,” 15 years after then-President Robert Mugabe withdrew his nation’s membership.

Zimbabwe left the Commonwealth in 2003, after the international body criticised disputed elections and land seizures from white farmers.

Speaking today, UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson also praised what he called “impressive progress” made by Mr Mugabe’s successor, President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

He however said that July’s election will be a bellweather for the direction of a new Zimbabwe.

“The Zimbabwe government must deliver the free and fair elections the people of Zimbabwe deserve and which it has promised,” he said.

Mr Mnangagwa’s government has said it will invite Western powers to monitor the polls.

David Coltart, a former education minister and MP from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, said he was “appalled” by the Commonwealth’s change in tone towards Zimbabwe given the country’s media restrictions and the recent sacking of thousands of nurses.

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