[NEWS AND VIEWS]
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December 08, 2003
Despite protestations from the New Zealand premier that "the Zimbabwe government's decision to withdraw is not a disaster for the Commonwealth," much of the press pack is obsessing over the issue.
"This is a disaster for Mbeki" said one South African journalist. "He's basically been in there trying to save Mugabe's ass, but he's ended up looking stupid."
Australian PM John Howard was sounding conciliatory, though: "It's always regrettable when a country decides to leave, but nothing is permanent. There is no reason why Zimbabwe won't come back into the Commonwealth".
I believe my putting in place the sanction of "suspension" against its members,the Commonwealth has made a big, big mistake.This cause this sannction has shown in very clear terms that the C/wealth is not family.Have you ever heard of a family suspending one of its own?At least not in the African context!Come to think of it, why is the UN not resorting to the same sanction?C/wealth, you need to have an urgent rethink about this unhelpful sanction otherwise many of your children will beat you to it by taking the pre emptive action of quitting,in that case only the "mother" will remain in the family!
I won't pretend to understand the whole Commonwealth issue - so I'll ask openly: What tangible benefits there are for a country to be a part of the Commonwealth?