‘Diasporans can’t vote because of non-alignment of laws’

ZIMBABWE Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson, Justice Rita Makarau, yesterday revealed that although the Constitution provides for all eligible voters, including those in the Diaspora, to cast their votes wherever they are, her commission could not implement the provision before the enabling legislation has been aligned to the Constitution.

Source: ‘Diasporans can’t vote because of non-alignment of laws’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe December 6, 2016


Speaking at a meeting with representatives of various political parties in Harare, Makarau said, while there was a code of conduct for political parties and candidates, there was no provision for punishment or censure for candidates caught on the wrong side of the law.

“We are the ones, as Zec, who raised this matter of universal suffrage which is captured in the Constitution, but the problem is the enabling legislation has not been aligned to the Constitution,” she said.

“You will remember that in 2002, there was a High Court judgment, which said people can vote from wherever they are in a presidential election and there was much celebration, but as it stands, we have a Supreme Court judgment, which on appeal quashed that ruling and said you should vote from your ward,” she said.

Justice Makarau was responding to MDC-T secretary-general, Douglas Mwonzora, who had cited constitutional provisions allowing for all Zimbabweans to vote regardless of their location.

Mwonzora said it would be unfair for Zec to say Diasporans could only vote if they present themselves at a polling station in Zimbabwe.

“The Constitution says every Zimbabwean has the right to vote, it does not say every Zimbabwean in Mutorashanga or in Rushinga should vote. It should not cost a Zimbabwean more than another Zimbabwean to vote. If a Zimbabwean in the United States of America has to come here to vote, their vote will cost them $3 000,” he said.

Mwonzora said prisoners and those previously classified as aliens should be allowed to vote in the forthcoming elections.

Zec said it would give a comprehensive response on the Diaspora vote during the next platform meeting on January 19.

Justice Makarau also took flak from political party representatives, who accused her of failing to act against Zanu PF candidates, who had been fingered in fanning violence during elections and dishing out food and land just ahead of polls.

The parties resolved to push for the amendment of the fourth schedule of the Electoral Code of Conduct for Political Parties and Candidates in a move that will see Zec having power to punish candidates who violate the code.


  • comment-avatar
    Ndonga 5 years ago

    What a rogue we have been given as our Chair of our ZEC, Justice Rita Makarau. Here she tries to make us believe that she is hurt, disappointed and perhaps even outraged that our electoral laws have as yet not been aligned with our Constitution. Yet she is silent on what she herself has done, as a senior Judge, to have this strange and abnormal legal situation corrected.

    If this situation is as wrong and damaging as she says, she should by now have resigned her ZEC chairperson-ship. How can she, as a senior Judge, be part of such an unfair and unjust situation? Surely this situation makes her task of running and overseeing free and fair elections an impossible task? She must know that when the history is written about these difficult times in Zimbabwe, she will deserve being labelled a disgrace and a pariah.

    She gives out that she is very concerned about the stealing of the Zimbabwe exiles’ right to vote, and the violence we all saw at the last elections. What we need to hear from her is what has she herself has done with the power she has as the Chair of the SEC, to correct these injustices and wrongs.

    But let us not be fooled. Rita was cast from the same mould as the previous chair of the SEC, Justice George Chiweshe. Yes, she does come over as a nicer person than Chiweshe, but even the devil would appear nicer than him. This, when we accept the magnitude of the damage that George Chiweshe has done to Zimbabwe and the people of Zimbabwe, in the elections that he organised and oversaw.

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    TJINGABABILI 5 years ago


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    Barry 5 years ago

    No vote no money, QED. As if any vote cast after 1980 counted anyway.

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    VeKwaMaromo 5 years ago

    We need to stand up against this evil that has befallen our motherland. Zimbabwe , time of jokes is over, otherwise these politicians will take the whole nation down the drain. Look at the demented Mugabe, still thinks he can rule a nation when he cannot even control Grace. What a shame!

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    Funny how Zanu was very quick to “align laws” for POSA, AIPPA & indigenization, but they can’t organise this one because they know the diasporas will kick them out of State House.

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    Angaas 5 years ago

    Interesting that economics and not the narcissus / neurotic politicians will take over in the future. The Rand will become the main means of exchange for the private sector and Bond notes to the useless civil servants who perpetuated this endless stupidity.