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Mr President, how far diaspora vote?

16 May 2022 at 06:25hrs | Views
NOW that Zimbabwe is fast approaching the 2023 elections, it is time we ask tough questions about the diaspora vote.

Modalities to allow Zimbabweans in the diaspora to vote should be at an advanced stage as we speak, but it seems it is still water under the bridge.

If President Emmerson Mnangagwa wants those in the diaspora to contribute to economic revival, he must also allow them to chose their leaders.

In 2019, the late Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo told diasporans in United Kingdom that the government had plans to register them to vote in 2023.

But three years down the line, nothing has materialised.

But we cannot really trust the government to do it without pressure from the citizens.

I encourage Zimbabweans living abroad and those living in the country, civic society, and most importantly, the international community, to exert pressure on government to start putting in place the mechanisms to enable Zimbabweans in the diaspora to vote next year.

Diaspora voting preparations must be used as a measure to show that the Mnangagwa government is open to do business with its own citizens living abroad.

And Zimbabweans living in the diaspora must demand their right to vote. I am aware attempts have been made before, which did  not succeed, but it needs mass action by the Zimbabweans living in the diaspora, who must carry out peaceful demonstrations at embassies in their host countries and formally write to the Foreign Affairs ministries in the same countries to push the Zanu-PF government to start planning for the diaspora vote in 2023.

Fellow Zimbabweans in the diaspora, I say to you; demand your right to vote. Organise yourselves and claim what is yours in the Constitution.

A look around what is happening in neighbouring countries proves beyond reasonable doubt that Zimbabwe is lagging behind.

Mozambicans living in Zimbabwe have been participating in elections in their own country for many years.

Botswana and South Africa have similar provisions for their citizens in foreign lands. President Emmerson Mnangagwa should certainly borrow a leaf from fellow Sadc leaders.

Let me conclude by saying that there is absolutely no excuse for Zimbabweans in the diaspora not to vote and Mnangagwa should take the appropriate steps now if the world is to take his reform agenda seriously.

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe
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