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Commonwealth Chairpersons' Committee on Zimbabwe set up by CHOGM

2002

Commonwealth Chairpersons' Committee on Zimbabwe set up by CHOGM "to determine appropriate Commonwealth action on Zimbabwe" after a highly adverse report on the Presidential elections by Commonwealth observers. Zimbabwe suspended from the councils of the Commonwealth for one year with immediate effect after the Committee met.

The Committee noted that the Commonwealth Observer Group, led by General Abdulsalami Abubakar of Nigeria, had concluded that the Presidential Election was marred by a high level of politically motivated violence and that "the conditions in Zimbabwe did not adequately allow for a free expression of will by the electors". They deemed these conclusions, together with other aspects of the Report of the Observer Group, to be an adverse reflection on the electoral process, requiring an appropriate Commonwealth response.

The Committee expressed its determination to promote reconciliation in Zimbabwe between the main political parties. To this end the Committee strongly supported the initiatives of the President of Nigeria and the President of South Africa in encouraging a climate of reconciliation between the main political parties in Zimbabwe which they considered essential to address the issues of food shortages, economic recovery, the restoration of political stability, the rule of law and the conduct of future elections.