Uganda denies Mugabe invitation
(BBC) Uganda has moved to crush speculation that it might invite Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to a Commonwealth leaders' meeting.
A Ugandan foreign ministry statement said the matter did not arise because Zimbabwe left the Commonwealth in 2003.
Zimbabwe's Commonwealth membership was suspended after the controversial 2002 elections, and Zimbabwe withdrew voluntarily the following year.
Several Commonwealth member states in Africa oppose isolating Zimbabwe.
Uganda is to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) in November.
The ministry statement said any application for readmission by Zimbabwe could only be considered in 2009.
"It was, therefore, not possible for Uganda and the Commonwealth Secretariat to invite President Mugabe for Chogm 2007.
"In the event that Zimbabwe wishes to reapply for admission, the application would be considered by Chogm 2009 in Trinidad and Tobago," the statement said.
Earlier this month, United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he would not attend a summit of European and African leaders in Portugal if President Mugabe was invited.
Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa said in response that he would stay away from the summit if Mr Mugabe were not invited.
Gertrude Mongella, the Tanzanian president of the Pan-African Parliament, said Mr Brown's threat would not help Zimbabwe.
South Africa, Zimbabwe's influential neighbour, has consistently rejected suggestions of punitive measures against Mr Mugabe's government.