The Zimbabwean Government has applied to rejoin Commonwealth. President Emmerson Mnangagwa wrote a letter on 15 May to Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland.
Zimbabwe joined the Commonwealth on its independence in 1980 and withdrew from the organisation in 2003. To re-join, Zimbabwe must demonstrate that it complies with the fundamental values set out in the Commonwealth Charter, including democracy and rule of law plus protection of human rights such as freedom of expression. The membership process requires an informal assessment to be undertaken by representatives of the Secretary-General, followed by consultations with other Commonwealth countries.
Zimbabwe also invited the Commonwealth to observe its forthcoming elections expected in July. The Commonwealth Secretariat is now mobilising a team of observers to do so and their observations will form part of the Secretary-General’s informal assessment.