MDCSA calls for inclusion of Zimbabwe’s diaspora vote

via MDCSA calls for inclusion of diaspora vote | The Zimbabwean 09.05.14 by Sofia Mapuranga

Zimbabweans in the diaspora are calling for the inclusion of citizens living outside the country into Zimbabwe’s voting processes.

In their submission to the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs as part of the public hearings on the Electoral Amendment Bill, Zimbabweans outside the country recommended that people in the diaspora be given full voting rights as intended in the constitution.

Read a report by the South African Province of the Movement of Democratic Change (MDC SA): “Voting centres should be set up in suitably convenient places that allow citizens of Zimbabwe to cast their votes.”

“Voter registration should take place in South Africa under the direct supervision of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and not the Registrar General as provided for in the law.”

Submissions by the MDCSA recommended that voting should take place using the normal voting processes applicable in Zimbabwe and not postal voting.

“Section 67 of the Constitution provides political rights to all Zimbabweans including the right to vote in all elections irrespective of where they are in the world.

“Section 155 obliges the state to ensure that all eligible citizens are registered as voters and have an opportunity to vote and any amendment to the Electoral Act should make provision for Zimbabweans outside the country to vote,” read the report.

Millions of Zimbabweans have over the past decade fled the country in search of greener pastures. A majority of these immigrants have fled to neighbouring South Africa which offered better prospects in terms decent work, better income and improved standards of living, according to the MDCSA report.

The report noted that an estimated 3 million Zimbabweans are in South Africa and these citizens have over the years contributed to the economic status of their families back home.

“If anything these Zimbabweans see themselves as having literally saved their families from certain starvation if not death during the height of economic crisis,” reported the MDCSA.

The government is making strides to formally engage the diaspora as seen by various statements from government ministers.

The Ministry of Finance proposed issuing Diaspora Bonds to fund capital projects and also harness the diaspora potential through tax and import duty incentives for qualifying investments in the manufacturing and other capital intensive industries.

Information and Broadcasting Services minister, Jonathan Moyo referred to citizens living in other countries as “Zimbabweans in the Diaspora with a lot of experience and resources rooted in the education they got here.”

“In due course, we will spell out not just the areas of opportunity but also the incentives available to Zimbabweans in the Diaspora who may be interested in those areas. We will make specific policy pronouncements,” Moyo was quoted saying.

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in its 13th Extra-Ordinary Session held from the 19th to the 25th of February 2013 made a provisional decision in Communication 430/2012 brought by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Lawyers in the matter between Gabriel Shumba and Others versus the Republic of Zimbabwe.

The Commission adopted Provisional measures that required the government to ensure that it puts in place measures that allowed Zimbabweans in the diaspora to vote.

There have been attempts at justifying the exclusion of diaspora vote for reasons of expense.

During his budget presentation, The Minister of Finance estimated that remittances from the diaspora had been US$1.6 billion during the period from January to November 2013.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 12
  • comment-avatar
    publicprotector 8 years ago

    There is a massive problem with postal votes and registration.
    Those involved in the promotion of an diaspora vote are generally trying to promote electoral fraud, which is bound to happen.
    How will anyone know how many voted or who voted?
    Although there are those that think differently factually there are conditions attached to postal vote in countries like the UK for similar reasons-
    Again if foreign countries are giving regime change support a terrorist act in any country then is this not playing into their hands and should we not just say the west makes the choice and we dont need an election.

    • comment-avatar

      The thought that there may be a few fraudulent votes, or there are a few people that have the agenda you envisage (speaks a lot about you) should deny the millions that are in the diaspora a vote is insane. Only those that fear the diaspora vote would deny them their rights. Rule fairly and honestly and the people will follow you. Steal, Cheat, Beat and the people will abandon you as is what has happened to Mugabe and his ilk. All Zimbabweans have the right to vote especially the 3-4 million who have fled the country because of the inept, racist, corrupt regime of Robert Mugabe.

    • comment-avatar
      Mupurisa 8 years ago

      Blazo (“publicprotector”), in Zimbabwe it’s more like ‘Bob makes the choice, why have an election, and to hell with the majority’!! Imi maCIO why do you come on this website, giving yourselves cute names, trying to convince progressive minded Zimbabweans to think in the same sick way as you? Why not just carry on publishing your negative, backwards thinking opinions in the Herald?

    • comment-avatar
      Parangeta 8 years ago

      The USA, UK and all EU allow their citizens full and protected Votes
      when not at home.

      Eg: Military personnel, diplomats and expatriates working overseas.
      There is no ‘fraud’, no unprotected, safe voting ballots.

      So what is your point, no Elections, how foolish!

  • comment-avatar
    munzwa 8 years ago

    South Africa did it all right, why cann’t Zim??Why worry about a few fraudulent votes there, look how many were recorded in the country. It is the right of every citizen to vote where ever they might be in this world….

  • comment-avatar

    Zimbabweans living outside the country should be allowed to vote. Its in the constitution.
    An electronic voters roll and an ID card should resolve most problems relating to fraudulent voting.

  • comment-avatar
    jobolinko 8 years ago

    Why is it a problem in zimbabwe when other countries do it with no problem ?

  • comment-avatar
    jobolinko 8 years ago

    There will be one constituency in every country south africans did it with no problem if zec say they learnt a lot from the south africans then they can do it .

  • comment-avatar
    jobolinko 8 years ago

    No to voting slips.

  • comment-avatar
    Wilbert Mukori 8 years ago

    As far as the last elections goes, Mugabe would still have won the elections given the blatant way he was able to rig the vote.

    Asking for everyone to have a vote when even those who had the vote were cheated misses the real bigger point here.

  • comment-avatar
    Tjingababili 8 years ago

    ONLY CIVILISED COUNTRIES ALLOW THEIR CITIZENS TO VOTE WHILE OUT OF THE COUNTRY! SAVAGES DONT!

  • comment-avatar
    munzwa 8 years ago

    and savages they are…