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Patriotic Zimbabweans (PZ) bemoans diaspora vote exclusion

by Chamunorwa Matanhike
31 Mar 2022 at 17:50hrs | Views
Patriotic Zimbabwe (PZ) president Charles Muchinerepi Mutama has bemoaned the exclusion of diaspora vote in Zimbabwean elections despite the diaspora being a key economic player in the country.

"One of the fundamental goals of the war of liberation was one man one vote. As PZ we bemoan the absence of one demographic group that has hitherto been excluded from this very important element of our democracy and by that we are referring to the diaspora which is yet to be   enfranchised despite being a key economic player in Zimbabwe through its remittances that have surpassed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)," said Mutama.

Mutama said his party's diaspora vote petition in parliament reached the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs but is yet to reach the floor for debate.

Mutama labelled the recently held by elections as not as free, fair, credible or inclusive and urged newly elected legislators to make the inclusion of diaspora vote their priority.

"We cannot consider these by elections as free, fair, credible and inclusive. Zimbabwe is yet to achieve universal adult suffrage based on that act of omission and alienation of Zimbabweans living abroad."

"What needs to be done now in parliament by the re-elected and new legislators is to act with determination and patriotism towards ensuring that this issue is debated on the floor and eventually our electoral act is amended so that it categorically enfranchises the diaspora," said Mutama.

Mutama said PZ is concerned by politically motivated violence during elections, urged the legislature to criminalise this vice and the undertaking of post-electoral enquiries on reports of electoral violence.

"As PZ we bemoan reports of politically motivated violence during the campaign period and call upon the legislature to criminalise acts of violence during elections and to ensure that perpetrators are prosecuted while at the same time conducting post-electoral enquiries on these allegations with the view of bringing perpetrators before the courts of law," said Mutama.

The PZ leader called for all stakeholders' approach to fix compliance issues related to Zimbabwe's elections in line with the SADC principles and guidelines governing democratic elections.

"As PZ, we view these by elections as an opportunity for all political parties, civic society, churches, business, and citizens in general to work on levelling the electoral playing field by ensuring that there is an all-stakeholder approach to fixing compliance issues related to our elections in line with the SADC principles and guidelines governing democratic elections."

"Reference can be the resolutions of the 2008 Global Political Agreement (GPA) which succinctly dealt with all matters of contention between Zimbabweans," he added.

PZ party fielded four house of assembly and seven council candidates in the 26 March by elections and the combined votes for the candidates were below a thousand votes.

Source - Chamunorwa Matanhike