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Sokwanele Press Release
ZANU-PF Overturns "One Man, One Vote"
Diaspora to Participate in Mock Election
26 March 2005
The Mugabe regime has effectively overturned the principle of “One man, one vote” in Zimbabwe. The very reason for the liberation struggle against oppressive and exploitative colonial rule has thus been subverted - ironically by those who glory most in their liberation war credentials – and Zimbabweans around the world are encouraged to register their dissatisfaction prior to or on election day, 31 March 2005.
In many and various ways the ruling clique of ZANU-PF politicians has denied the vote to those upon whom the Constitution confers this fundamental right.
For example, the present appallingly corrupt state of the voters’ roll has resulted in tens of thousands of eligible voters being unable to cast their ballot in the forthcoming parliamentary election, while the inclusion of the names of some 800,000 now deceased persons and other gross irregularities on the roll opens the door to multiple voting by others.
In no single instance have more Zimbabweans been disenfranchised at one stroke than by the regime’s denial of the right to vote to citizens now living abroad.
It is estimated that between 25 and 30 per cent of Zimbabwe’s population have left the land of their birth. The regime’s own analysts put the number at 3,4 million. These are the Zimbabweans who now live in the diaspora, in South Africa, Europe, Australia, the United States and elsewhere.
For most of them the decision to leave Zimbabwe was not entirely voluntary. They were compelled by circumstances, either political repression and fear of violence or the mismanagement of the economy which destroyed tens of thousands of jobs.
Even pensioners were forced to become “economic refugees” when the plunging value of the Zim dollar rendered their pensions worthless, and they could no longer sustain themselves in their homeland.
Therefore the very fact of the huge number of Zimbabwean citizens living abroad is an indictment of the Mugabe regime’s disastrous political and economic policies.
For the regime now to benefit from their absence, by excluding those who might be expected to punish them in the election, is simply outrageous. It is ZANU-PF’s fear of rejection by the majority of citizen’s living abroad that has dictated the decision to disenfranchise this huge section of the electorate.
The right of
citizens temporarily living abroad to vote in national elections is one that is
recognized in most democracies the world over. Indeed the majority of Southern
African nations accord their citizens this right.
Yet in Zimbabwe the ruling ZANU-PF clique has decided, without any consultation with the opposition or civic groups, that the country’s citizens will be denied this basic right.
Only embassy staff and members of the armed forces serving beyond the borders of Zimbabwe are to be afforded this basic human right – the latter being compelled to vote in the presence of their commanding officers.
When the decision of the executive was challenged in the Supreme Court by a group of seven Zimbabweans living outside the country, their application was brushed aside contemptuously by Chief Justice Chidyausiku, himself a prominent member of the ruling clique who has benefited enormously from Mugabe’s patronage - and whose judgments clearly show it.
Refusing to then give any reasons for his ruling, Chief Justice Chidyausiku said only that he and his brother judges Vernanda Ziyamba and Luke Malaba had “unanimously concluded that the application has no merit and (is) hereby dismissed.”
At a stroke the principle of “One person, one vote” is casually swept aside, and that on the authority of the highest court in the land. So far has Zimbabwe moved, under ZANU-PF misrule, from the noble ideals of the liberation struggle.
It is high time to correct this blatant injustice. It is high time to challenge and confront the whole corrupt system established by ZANU-PF which benefits just a tiny elite of the super-rich at the cost of untold suffering to the rest.
Those Zimbabweans who are part of the diaspora in South Africa will have an opportunity to vote in a mock election being held in Pretoria on Tuesday March 29 – two days before the poll in Zimbabwe.
· Further details of the South African vote and how to participate:
Date: Tuesday 29 March 2005
Times: 10h00 to 14h00
Venue: Outside the Zimbabwean Embassy in Pretoria
798 Merton Street cnr East Street
Documents required: Nil
Alternative: SMS vote from cell phones on all SA networks
Send to: 34383 with name of chosen political party
Voice mail vote: phone 082 234 8683
Note: Only Zimbabwean nationals may participate and each is entitled to only one vote. A flagging system is in place to ensure that no one votes more than once.
· Further details of the United Kingdom vote and how to participate:
Date: Wednesday 30 March 2005 – all night vigil from 20h00
Date: Thursday 31 March 2005 – mock ballot from 05h00 to 17h00
Venue: Outside the Zimbabwean Embassy on the Strand in London
Documents required: Nil
Note: Only Zimbabwean nationals may participate and each is entitled to only one vote.
· Further details of the German (Munich) protest rally and how to participate:
Date: Thursday 31 March 2005 – protest rally
Time: 18h00 to 20h00
Venue: Marienplatz, Munich, Germany
Zimbabweans living abroad, take this opportunity to show what you think of a regime that denies you the right to vote in your home country.
SOKWANELE, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, ZVAKWANA
March 26, 2005
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Sokwanele - Zvakwana - Enough is Enough is a peoples' movement, embracing supporters of all pro-democratic political parties, civic organizations and institutions.
Sokwanele - Zvakwana - Enough is Enough will never aspire to political office.
Sokwanele - Zvakwana - Enough is Enough is a peoples' force through which democracy will be restored to the country and protected jealously for future generations to ensure that Zimbabweans will never be oppressed again.
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