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Zimbabwe Diaspora Vote Initiative salutes Julius Malema for encouraging Zimbabweans to go back home

by Zimbabwe Diaspora Vote Initiative
11 Jul 2023 at 23:50hrs | Views
The Zimbabwe Diaspora Vote Initiative salutes South Africa's Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema for urging Zimbabweans living in South Africa to make the trip back home and participate in the harmonised election of 23 August 2023. More encouraging is the offer by the EFF for those in need of travel assistance to approach the EFF offices for assistance.

It is refreshing to hear an African brother encouraging African people living in the diaspora to vote to decide the governance of their mother countries. Indeed, many African governments have been offering the diaspora vote to their nationals living abroad the right to vote from their domiciled countries, and many more are legislating for diaspora vote. Zimbabwean President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa has dismally failed in his promise to work towards implementing the diaspora vote, a promise made while attending the United Nations Annual General Meeting in the United States of America in 2018, soon after his election as President (see the video footage of President Mnangagwa's address on this link


President Mnangagwa also ignored a letter we wrote to him asking what challenges Government was facing in implementing the Diaspora vote, offering to help if need be. He ignored a subsequent petition we presented to his offices after our letter, a hard copy of which was couriered to the Zimbabwean Ambassador to Australia. Parliament of Zimbabwe also ignored a petition we submitted to Parliament on the diaspora vote, and Zanu PF legislators shot down suggestions for the diaspora vote during the Electoral Amendment Bill debate. Sitting Zanu PF legislators have confided in Zimbabwe Diaspora Vote Initiative members that Zanu PF does not want the diaspora vote as there is a notion within Zanu PF that diaspora based Zimbabweans are pro- opposition.

Having been informed by insiders within Zanu PF that Zanu PF would use its parliamentary majority to block the diaspora vote, we have been encouraging those of us who can go to Zimbabwe and vote or present our case to the electorate and observer missions, especially African observer missions from countries that offer the diaspora vote, so they can help us lobby the incoming legislators to make legislative changes that provide for diaspora vote.

 The offer by EFF President Julius Malema therefore comes as a breath of fresh air as it enhances our initiative to get Zimbabweans in the diaspora who have been denied their right to vote from their domiciled countries to go home and vote. We will be consulting with those of our colleagues based in South Africa and encouraging those who we cannot assist to travel or cannot assist themselves to travel to Zimbabwe to approach the EFF for assistance as announced. Most importantly, we will be approaching the EEF President and other progressive individuals and organisations based in Africa for their support as we continue to lobby for the Diaspora vote for the 2028.

While we are a non-partisan organisation, we reiterate our resolve to encourage our friends, relatives and owners and workers of businesses which benefit from the diaspora to vote against those who have denied us our right to vote. We appeal to them not to vote for President Comrade Emmerson Mnangagwa who has been quoted in many places, and even penned articles in appreciation of the economic contribution of Zimbabweans based in the Diaspora, but slept on his own promise to have the diaspora vote implemented in the 2023 election. In one article he wrote in the Sunday Mail, President Mnangagwa emphasised that Zimbabweans living abroad were "equal to, and just as important and as deserving" as their counterparts living in Zimbabwe (https://www.sundaymail.co.zw/engaging-zimbabwes- diaspora-community-for-national-development). Whowever, we did not see any effort he made in ensuring the diaspora vote happened in 2023 as he promised. Had he made effort we could have said he tried but failed due to circumstances. Zimbabwe needs a President who practices what they promise.

We encourage our families, friends and owners of businesses that benefit from the diaspora remittances and their employees to vote against sitting Zanu PF legislators who are wishing to extend their term. Some of them heckled at patriotic pro-diaspora legislators who argued for the diaspora vote during the Electoral Amendment Bill debate.

For further details, please contact Padmore Kufa, Spokesperson for the Zimbabwe Diaspora Vote Initiative on +61 414 477 659 or email us on zimdiasporavoteaussienz@gmail.com.

Source - Zimbabwe Diaspora Vote Initiative