JUST IN: ED meets Commonwealth SG President Mnangagwa greets Commonwealth Secretary General Mrs Patricia Scotland before holding a crucial meeting at UN Headquarters on Monday evening

Zvamaida Murwira in NEW YORK, USA
Commonwealth secretary-general, Mrs Patricia Scotland has expressed satisfaction with Zimbabwe’s reforms and held a crucial meeting with President Mnangagwa to explore ways in which Harare’s return to the body could be expedited.

The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces also held a separate meeting at the UN Headquarters with Norway Prime Minister, Mrs Erna Solberg aimed at deepening bilateral relations where they explored areas in which the Scandinavian country could invest in Zimbabwe.

Both meetings were held on the sidelines of the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 74) which several Heads of State and Government that include President Mnangagwa are attending. In an interview soon after meeting President Mnangagwa yesterday, Mrs Scotland said the Commonwealth had noted reforms that Zimbabwe had embarked upon under the leadership of the Zimbabwean leader.

She, however, said discussions she held with President Mnangagwa were meant to brainstorm on how Zimbabwe’s return to the Commonwealth could be expedited.

“We had a very good discussion. We were looking at issues that were still outstanding, you know there is a process and the process is underway. It is by no means complete; there are really interesting areas that we will continue to discuss. It was really a good meeting,” said Mrs Scotland.

“There is no case of postponing. What happens is the Commonwealth has laid down a process that any applicant has to go through. It is that process that is being accelerated as quickly as possible. If you look at our process, it is step by step. Zimbabwe is going through all those steps just like any other country. I think there are a number of areas where Zimbabwe has made real reforms. No one is perfect and it is a journey.”

In July, the UN and Britain hailed legislative, economic and media reforms Harare is undertaking, giving impetus to ongoing re-engagement efforts.

More to follow…

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