BY SILAS NKALA
DETHRONED Ntabazinduna chief, Felix Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni, who is based in the United Kingdom, has formed a pressure group — MyRight2Vote — aimed at pushing President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government to give Zimbabweans based in the diaspora their rights to vote.
Ndiweni said people in the diaspora were sustaining the country through remittances back home and should, therefore, be given the rights to vote.
MyRight2vote conducted a virtual meeting to discuss its course of action and strategies towards pushing government to consider legislating for diaspora voting.
Ndiweni chairs the group with Adrian Lunga as secretary, while Ntunja Mphoko is the deputy chairperson.
Speaking during the meeting, Ndiweni said MyRight2Vote was an independent, non-political and non-partisan organisation for Zimbabweans in the diaspora whose concerns were to be granted the right to vote considered.
“We are a people’s movement trying to bring diaspora people together for a cause,” Ndiweni said.
“MyRight2Vote is pushing for democracy and the rule of law so that we are not suppressed on what we want as citizens.”
He added: “In the 2018 elections, the total number of people who voted was 4,8 million. We are reliably informed that the Zimbabwe diaspora is in excess of five million people who have all along been denied their right to vote. They were denied through the High Court three times.”
Opposition parties have been pushing for people in the diaspora to vote, a demand rejected by the ruling Zanu PF party.
Last month, acting Zanu PF national commissar Patrick Chinamasa said diaspora votes could only be considered once the West removed travel restrictions imposed on ruling party bosses so that they could travel to Western countries.
He said people in the diaspora could vote through the postal ballot, arguing that if the police and top civil servants were allowed to do so, nothing could, therefore, stop people living in the diaspora to do the same.
“Zimbabwean people in the diaspora, in 41 years, have not uttered a word about the future of the country, the people who remit over US$1 billion to the country must have a say about how the country should be run. There must be no taxation without representation,” Ndiweni said.
Lunga urged those in the diaspora to join MyRight2Vote so that they fight for their rights together from across the world.
Chief Ndiweni was dethroned by Mnangagwa in December 2019 under controversial circumstances after he openly showed support to MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa and also backed the Western-sponsored sanctions against the Zanu PF government.