London, United Kingdom (CU)_ The domestic landmarks named after the monarch, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 96 in Balmoral, are some examples of the ties between Zimbabwe, a former British colony, and the United Kingdom. It is the only nation in Commonwealth history to have been suspended and subsequently to have departed from the 54-member bloc. However, following the death of the Queen, the country is now attempting to rejoin.
The passing of the Queen has accentuated tensions between those who have paid condolences and lamented the time spent outside the organization and those who are more apathetic or overtly antagonistic towards the history of British colonialism in Africa. Zimbabwe, formerly known as Rhodesia after Cecil John Rhodes, who oversaw the country’s colonization in 1890, got its independence in 1980 from Britain following a liberation struggle.
In the early 2000s, under the late President Robert Mugabe, ties between Britain and Zimbabwe collapsed when the Mugabe administration brutally seized white-owned farms as part of land reforms apparently aimed at reclaiming land from white settlers. A violent and contested presidential election in 2002 lead to Mr. Mugabe receiving censure from the West and Zimbabwe’s removal from the Commonwealth in March 2002. Mr. Mugabe left the 54-nation union in protest of its decision to renew sanctions against his dictatorship in December 2003.
But now, the administration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa is campaigning to rejoin the commonwealth, but analysts are not yet convinced. Mr. Mnangagwa took to Twitter upon the passing of the Queen to express his deepest sympathies to the royal family, the United Kingdom, and the Commonwealth. The leader who took power after Mugabe was ousted by a military coup in 2017 is ready to restore relations and be readmitted. Recently in Rwanda, Mr. Mnangagwa after meeting with the secretary-general of the Commonwealth Patricia Scotland and the former prime minister Tony Blair, said, “For Zimbabwe to flourish, we cannot let history hold us back”.