Zim to rejoin Commonwealth – MDC

THE Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC has said it will re-establish “full” diplomatic relations with all countries and rejoin the Commonwealth if it wins next month’s elections.

According to the MDC’s manifesto the opposition party would engage relevant countries and organisations to mobilise resources to stabilise the flagging economy, meet urgent humanitarian needs, and resume normal economic and political relations.

“The immediate goal of the MDC government will be to re-establish full, normal, diplomatic relations with all countries, and to restore Zimbabwe to its rightful place in the community of nations,” the document read.

“Zimbabwe will rejoin the Commonwealth and resume normal diplomatic activity in all relevant multilateral organisations.”

President Robert Mugabe pulled Zimbabwe out of the Commonwealth in December 2003 in protest at the country’s continued suspension following a flawed presidential election the previous year.
 
The MDC said the centrepiece of its foreign policy would be to safeguard the values of the country’s national independence, territorial integrity and national security.

The party said the policy would aim to rekindle and recapture the original spirit of Sadc and create a renewed sense of hope and common purpose in the peoples of the region.

“Zimbabwe will have a positive vision of the region, one in which all states co-exist in peace, security and dignity, where all people have jobs that put food on their tables, provide a roof over their heads, and offer a decent education for their children,” the policy document reads.

“We will uphold a vision of a region that develops in a spirit of tolerance and understanding, and we will propagate a vision of a region where respect for the sanctity of the individual, the rule of law, and the politics of consultation and free democratic civic participation grow stronger by the day.”

“The MDC well understands that it will inherit a very demoralised cadre of diplomatic staff who are poorly and irregularly paid and have become symbols of a pariah state in the countries and regions they serve,” the MDC said.

“It also understands that it will have to cut its coat to fit its cloth, and that a complete review of diplomatic representation will be urgently required once it is elected.”

Addressing a rally at the launch of the party’s 2008 harmonised elections campaign last Saturday at Sakubva Stadium, Mutare, Tsvangirai said Zimbabwe needed to change its current foreign policy.

“We need to replace our warrior foreign policy with a commercial foreign policy,” Tsvangirai said.

“We won our independence 28 years ago, but the dictatorship continues to engage in a battle with shadows. The dictator is engaged in a long running battle with Britain, with Tony Blair as long as he was in power and now that Blair is gone, maybe with the Queen.”

This battle, the MDC leader said, cuts Zimbabweans off from the world’s commerce. “We need to present Zimbabwe once again as the best tourism destination in Africa.

Zanu PF, of course, does not really want people from Europe or America to come to Zimbabwe — we welcome them,” Tsvangirai said.

Constantine Chimakure