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Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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MDC -T pushing for diaspora vote

MDC-T Pushes For Diaspora Vote

06/05/2011 11:40:00

Harare, May 06, 2011 – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s faction of the 
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is pushing South African President 
Jacob Zuma, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) facilitator in 
the Zimbabwe crisis, to allow the Diaspora to vote in the next elections now 
thought to be held in 2013.

About three million Zimbabweans are estimated to be in the Diaspora after 
they fled an economic and political meltdown between 2000 and 2010. Over 250 
000 have been given work permits in South Africa this year after the country 
formally started registering illegal Zimbabweans.

Zanu (PF)’s legal guru, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is thought to be vying to 
succeed President Robert Mugabe and is reportedly, working behind the scene 
to maintain his status as the heir apparent has told the state media that 
his party would not allow the Diaspora to vote.

He said restrictive measures imposed by the European Union (EU) and other 
Western powers on Mugabe and his inner circle should be unconditionally 
removed before people in the Diaspora were allowed to vote. Mnangagwa added 
that due to the targeted sanctions the Zanu (PF) leadership was unable to 
travel to Europe and the United States to canvas for support from the 
Diaspora yet Prime Minister Tsvangirai and his leadership could crisis-cross 
the globe to campaign.

But in a hard-hitting statement to the media on Friday, Prime Tsvangirai’s 
party charged that all adult Zimbabweans, regardless of their station either 
at home or in the Diaspora, must be allowed to vote in the next and in any 
election if democracy has to assume its “generic” meaning.

Tsvangirai said this as Zanu (PF) and MDC negotiators exchanged notes with 
the SADC facilitation team in Cape Town.

The MDC-T said Zanu (PF) Mnangagwa should know that the issue of restrictive 
measures and the Diaspora vote were not linked in anyway and therefore could 
be compared.

“The Inclusive Government was set up to give birth to a completely new 
society, a society that reflects a radical departure from our dark past. The 
right to a vote can never be treated as a privilege, and cannot be bargained 
for,” read part of the MDC-T statement to the media.

“Decades of economic and political chaos drove millions of Zimbabweans off 
their home base. As if to further punish them the former regime quickly 
disenfranchised them purely on allegations of supporting the party of the 
future, the MDC. Now that Zimbabwe is being surveyed by an Inclusive 
Government, there can never be any justification for official discrimination 
of citizens in the Diaspora,” said the MDC-T.

“For the record, these Zimbabweans living and working abroad gave the 
country a lifeline against a debilitating hyper-inflationary period through 
a steady flow of remittances in cash, food and fuel. They continue to do so 
today as the country teeters back to its feet. They should never be denied a 
voice to determine the future of their country.”

“We should end the discrimination and exclusion of such a sizeable and 
invaluable part of our active population in national affairs. Needless to 
point out that the liberation struggle was anchored on the need for a 
one-person, one vote principle. To deny a Zimbabwean such a right would 
amount to a regrettable betrayal of the ideals of that struggle,” it added.

Meanwhile, the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) has said that 
Zimbabweans must only go for elections once a new constitution has been 
passed in the country. NCA chairperson was speaking to villager in Kanyemba 
district in their ‘take charge’ campaign that is meant to teach people about 
constitutional matters.

‘’As the NCA we are telling the politicians of this country that elections 
should only be conducted after the writing of a new genuine people driven 
constitution. That new constitution should guarantee a free and fair 
election,’’ Madhuku said.

NCA spokesperson, Madock Chivasa said people should “after the draft is out 
it is everyone’s duty as a Zimbabwean to scrutinise the contents of the 
draft and if your views are not captured surely you should all vote NO.’’


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