Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson (Image: Daily Express)

Zimbabwe is a great news story at the moment but it is not yet a member of the Commonwealth and has not reapplied yet, British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday.

He told the House of Commons that although Britain and other countries would strongly support Zimbabwe’s application to rejoin the Commonwealth, “it is important not to get too far ahead of ourselves” because Zimbabwe has not applied yet.

Johnson said this in response to a question from Jim Shannon who had given the impression Zimbabwe was already a member.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and MDC Alliance President Nelson Chamisa

Shannon asked: “Bearing in mind the recent return of Zimbabwe to our Commonwealth family, can the Secretary of State tell us what other countries might be about to join the Commonwealth? Is it too much to hope that perhaps the Republic of Ireland might be one of them?”

Johnson responded: “In these questions, it is important not to get too far ahead of ourselves. Zimbabwe is a great news story at the moment, but, alas, she has not yet reapplied for membership of the Commonwealth.

“We await that application to the Commonwealth secretariat. It is certainly something that the UK and other countries would strongly support, as we discovered at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting. As the hon. Gentleman knows, there are other countries that are in the pipeline, but they have yet to identify themselves publicly.”

Zimbabwe left the Commonwealth in 2003 but now wants to rejoin the organization in its drive to rejoin the international community.

Britain has been accused of supporting the new administration of Emmerson Mnangagwa but it has reiterated that it does not support any party or individual.