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Commonwealth a force for good in a confused world, says Zimbabwe’s man of letters

By Trevor Grundy, CJA-UK member

Despite the fact that Robert Mugabe pulled his ill-fated country out of the Commonwealth years ago, Lawrence Vambe, one of that country’s greatest authors, journalists and historians, remains a fervent believer in the association of nations, the Queen and the purposes of a multi-racial, multi-cultural organisation that contains one in three people on earth.

“The Commonwealth was, is and always will be (I sincerely hope) a force for good,” he told me from his home in Shropshire on his 95th birthday.

“To a large extent, this ‘club’ has been held together by the dedication and determination of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for whom I have the greatest respect. I believe that the British took the wrong turning when they went into Europe all those years ago and effectively jettisoned the Commonwealth whose people had fought so valiantly for the Allied cause in two World Wars.

“Many of us – especially Africans in my country Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) felt badly betrayed. But even now, the Commonwealth has great purpose and brings together people from all around the globe who share a common culture, history and above all a common language – English.”

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