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ZIMBABWE: President Mnangagwa In Talks With UK To Re-join Commonwealth

By Published February 04, 2018

Zimbabwe’s president, Emmerson Mnangagwa has formally informed the British government of his plans to have the country re-join the Commonwealth of Nations.

Top government official have already been dispatched to London to start preliminary talks with Prime Minister Theresa May’s administration.

Mnangagwa expressed commitment to re-engagement when he met UK’s Minister for Africa, Harriet Baldwin on her recent visit to Harare to explore restoration of diplomatic relations between the two governments.

President Mnangagwa articulated the land reform issue at length, affirming that while the programme was irreversible, Government was committed to bringing finality to the matter, which sparked the fallout between the two countries spanning nearly two decades.

“I am pleased that my first overseas trip as minister has been to Zimbabwe. The historic events the country has experienced over the last few months have created an opportunity to strengthen UK-Zimbabwe relations as part of a wider process of international engagement’’. Baldwin said.

The meeting also touched on how Britain could assist Zimbabwe clear arrears to the World Bank, IMF and African Development Bank loans.

Zimbabwe withdrew from the Commonwealth in 2003 at the height of diplomatic tensions between Harare and London over land reforms.

Then British PM Tony Blair refused to provide compensation for land acquired from white commercial farmers for redistribution to indigenes as agreed at the 1979 Lancaster House Conference, which formalised Zimbabwe’s Independence from British colonial rule.

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