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Zimbabwe: Zanu-pf defy Commonwealth, scorn Jacob Zuma
Zimbabwe has vowed to reject any proposals for it to return to the Commonwealth of nations, which the 85 year old President Mugabe once described as “a mere Queens tea club”. Mugabe, with the backing of his Zanu PF party, pulled Zimbabwe, a former British colony, out of the Commonwealth after the organisation renewed a suspension imposed a year earlier.
That was after the octogenarian Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, won re-election in a poll many observers said was rigged.
On Monday, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Didymus Mutasa was quoted by state media as saying that Zimbabwe will only return to the Commonwealth of nations when the country feels like doing so.
According to him, Zimbabwe was “not expelled from the Commonwealth. We left on our own. If they say they want to offer us to return, they sound as if they expelled us from the Commonwealth. We do not need anybody’s advice. We did not ask anyone for help. They should leave us alone”.
Mutasa insists that the offer to return by 2011 “is empty of any meaning, it has no meaning. We went out voluntarily, nothing has changed. We still don’t want to be part of the Commonwealth.”
When Zimbabwe pulled out of the international organisation, Mugabe commented saying “The Commonwealth is a mere club, but it has become like Animal Farm, where some members are more equal than others”.
However, in a statement Sunday, South African President, Jacob Zuma, urged the Commonwealth to re-admit Zimbabwe to the group. "Zimbabwe’s re-admission into the Commonwealth will serve as recognition to the progress that has been achieved thus far," Zuma said.
He added, "Equally, along with the lifting of sanctions, it will represent the international community’s support and encouragement to parties to continue the dialogue that will deliver a lasting solution to the challenges facing the country".
Obsevers have indicated that Didymus Mutasa’s statement defies and is insulting to Jacob Zuma’s intervention.
Zanu PF have stated that following the collapse of the British empire, the Commonwealth has become irrelevant and does not benefit its members. This comes as Rwanda, a former colony of Germany and Belgium becomes the second country after Mozambique to be admitted into the Commonwealth of nations without a British colonial past or constitutional link to Britain.