Diaspora calls for voting rights as precondition for EU re-engagement

via Diaspora calls for voting rights as precondition for EU re-engagement | SW Radio Africa by Alex Bell on Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Members of Zimbabwe’s Diaspora have called for the restoration of their voting rights to be a pre-condition for any more re-engagement between the European Union (EU) and ZANU PF.

The re-engagement process has been gaining momentum recently, and last week, the EU indicated that over $300 million would be available for ZANU PF, as soon as the remaining targeted restrictions against Robert Mugabe and his wife are removed.

This is despite a lack of real change on the ground in Zimbabwe, including an absence of any reforms previously stipulated by the EU as the benchmark for normalising its relations with Zimbabwe. Such reforms included the holding of a democratic, free and fair election.

Last year the EU fell short of endorsing Zimbabwe’s July polls because of the widespread condemnation of the vote as a ‘rigged’ process. Among the many issues that has seen the poll being disputed, was the exclusion of votes from Zimbabweans in the Diaspora.

People around the world are now being urged to join a social media campaign that urges the EU to reconsider its re-engagement efforts, using the absence of a Diaspora vote as a rallying cry. The campaign, launched this week through a video message by former diplomat Clifford Mashiri, urges the restoration of a Diaspora vote before re-engagement goes any further.

In a video message to launch the #RestoreZimDiasporaVote campaign, Mashiri said the Western engagement being witnessed is “deplorable.”

“The EU is doing nothing to persuade the regime in Harare to change its course, to change its disenfranchisement of millions, to comply with democracy. We have seen the regime in Harare reneging on various reforms and getting away with everything that is wrong. And they (the EU) have done nothing. Instead they have chosen a policy of appeasement to help Mugabe remain in power,” Mashiri said.

He explained that the elections last July cannot be recognised as legitimate, because it excluded such a large percentage of Zimbabwean citizens. He said the subsequent efforts by the EU to normalise its relationship with ZANU PF was very worrying.

“We are worried that the regime is being treated with kid gloves. They (the EU) are no longer keen to see democracy thriving. They are not worried about the economic implosion that is threatening and the 90% unemployment in the country,” Mashiri said.

He urged people around the world to take to Twitter to tweet and retweet the #RestoreZimDiasporaVote, as a form of public pressure on the EU.

“We call on all people to condemn what is happening in Zimbabwe, particularly the disenfranchisement of millions abroad. We call on the whole world to join our campaign. We want to get that vote before the EU can advance its promised aid to the ZANU PF regime. It should be a condition for the extension of that funding, if it is to be credible,” Mashiri said.



  • comment-avatar
    Angela Wigmore 8 years ago

    I would gladly sign a petition but I am not on Twitter. Is there another link?

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    Petal 8 years ago

    If there is no other petition besides twitter – could another one be organised for those who do not use twitter or facebook?

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    Qiniso 8 years ago

    “We are worried that the regime is being treated with kid gloves. They (the EU) are no longer keen to see democracy thriving. They are not worried about the economic implosion that is threatening and the 90% unemployment in the country,” Mashiri said.

    Removing the sanctions will bring that unemployment down Mashiri. Its not rocket science. These sanctions have failed to removed ZANU PF. Keeping sanctions wont bring down the unemployment. EU is acting best for the Zimbabweans. Come up with a better solution that this self-aggrandizing nonsense. People in Zimbabwe are suffering and they need a break. They don’t care who runs the country as long as they get food for their families. Vuka.

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    Chaka 8 years ago

    EU are quite aware that USD300 million is enough for 1 looter. Why would they do this?

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    Justice 8 years ago

    That is quite right, all these funds will do is prop up the illegal and repressive state machinery and lend undeserving legitimacy to same.

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    Mseyamwa 8 years ago

    My fellow men, noone is for us. The sooner we accept we have engage our government directly the sooner we may start to make progress. The reason behind the petition may even be brushed aside considering Zim has in the past stated it has no funds to run external elections. Rather consider that the last election was done without implementation of the reforms that had been found necessary for free and fair elections including a voters’ roll, repeal and realignment of laws to new constitution, the transfer of voter registration from Mudede to Makarau among others that I know you know better about.

    Only us can question the government not the EU which has other interests than ordinary pple’s welfare.

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    Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof) 8 years ago

    Those in the diaspora can form their party and come home to fight for any changes they want. Trying to use EU is futile ! MDCT tried that by asking for continued imposition of sanctions in vain! Come home and face our revolutionary forces!

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    Mseyamwa your views are indeed constructive but Zanupf listens to no one. These days they cant even listen to each other as they are openly fighting each other over “mines”, developed stands and even access to whites. They are teaming up with desperate whites for economic survival in furtherance of their looting. Those who believe that the EU are looking at their own interests are right but the EU can be exposed. Their leadership is accountable to their electorate. If effective campaigns are done to inform the whole world about what is happening especially by the diaspora then even selfish interests by some EU members will be exposed. So let the diaspora start working. Forget about MDC. Even concerned EU members were left confused by the leadership of the opposition who practically served Zanupf while shouting the opposite.

    • comment-avatar
      Roving Ambassador 8 years ago

      Bazur,well said. The war is fought in many fronts.

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        Collin Mackenzie 8 years ago

        We will still vote Zanu PF

        Those who think it will change a thing by holding EU and the government at ransom is very reckless and will continue to affect our brothers and sisters back home.

        For the record most people in the Diaspora love Zanu Pf and are not here because of Mugabe but the imperialist thought provking sick People.

        Hoping for a regime change.
        Its expecting a South African in Zimbabwe to vote for DA are you crazy.

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    Ndaneta ndaneta 8 years ago

    Well said Museyamwa, but you Cde Muzvinavhu (Prof) are too blinkered. Don’t you know that people in the diaspora are contributing a lot to this economy through transfers. In other words we are exporting our labour as an economy! So by coming back home for those narrow political goals would indeed be sheer madness, taking into account the current unemployment levels.

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    moyokumusha 8 years ago

    Zimbabwe is for all Zimbabweans and not just ZANUPF. We must all be engaged and have a say irrespective of where we live, and I live in Zimbabwe.

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    You’re dreaming if you think EU policy can be used to enforce constitutional issues like diaspora voting. That’s not how international diplomacy works. It’s simply NOT going to happen. In any case why should the countries of distant Europe maintain pressure on the Mugabe regime when its closest neighbors in SADC gave it a clean bill of health? The EU is tired of doing all the heavy lifting, while being accused of neocolonialism. Africans must take responsibility and solve their own problems, they’re independent aren’t they?

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    Appeasement appeasement appeasement. Where is Churchill or Margeret thatcher to tell Mugabe to wind his neck in or else.

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    zanupf fear me 8 years ago

    Stop dreaming. UK USA RSA sold u a dummy in 1980, u want another nikuv erection ? When mnangagwa takes over soon the words election democracy will be banned

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    Lulubell 8 years ago

    How come the 300 million facility for Zimbabwe is dependant on sanctions being lifted on Mugabe? I thought these sanctions where only targeted? If they were only targeted then surely the facility should not be dependant on the “travel restrictions”