Zimbabwe’s Readmission to Commonwealth in Doubt as Upcoming Elections Raise Concerns

January 13, 2023
Zimbabwe general election | Report Focus News
Zimbabwe general election

British Labour Party legislator Sonny Leong has expressed concern that the upcoming general elections in Zimbabwe may not demonstrate the country’s willingness to re-join the Commonwealth, despite consensus among Commonwealth members that Zimbabwe should be readmitted.

Leong pointed out that some current Commonwealth members also violate basic human rights and questioned whether keeping Zimbabwe outside the group would be beneficial. He also highlighted that only 37% of Commonwealth countries have abolished the death penalty in law, compared with 57% of all countries internationally.

Liberal Democrat Baron Jonny Oates argued that readmitting Zimbabwe while it fails to meet the basic standards of the organization’s human rights benchmark would severely damage the Commonwealth’s reputation. A Human Rights Watch report also supports the argument that Zimbabwe is not currently a suitable candidate for readmission.