AMID Zimbabwe Electoral Commission,chairperson Justice Rita Makarau’s assertions that there will be no diaspora vote for the 2018 elections, a group of Zimbabwe political parties and pressure groups in SA, under the banner of the Diaspora Voters Coalition (DVC), have signed an MOU to press ahead to allow Diasporians to vote.
An MOU was signed recently in Johannesburg by representatives from a group of 15 organisations, which included FreeZim Congress, People’s Democratic Party, Zimbabwe People First, #This Flag, #Tajamuka, Global Zimbabwe Forum, among others, is to set in motion intense lobbying for Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to vote.
The organisations that signed at the colourful ceremony, which was held in Parktown North last Sunday, also gave solidarity speeches pledging to fight for the Diaspora to be allowed to vote.
This comes at a time when ZEC is saying that those who in the Diaspora who want to vote must go to Zimbabwe to do and make themselves available for the Biometrics voters roll, adding this mean’t that they could not vote from where they are based.
Expected to sign later are MDC T, Zapu and the Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum. According to organisers the ruling Zanu PF was invited but did not turn up.
Under the Electoral Act, which is yet to be aligned to the Constitution, there is no clause that allows those in the Diaspora to vote at polling stations outside the country potentially disfranchising millions of Zimbabweans now living elsewhere
The DVC, then agreed to have Chairpersonship of the coalition to be on a rotational basis and also set up an interim committee, which is currently being administered by Zimbabwe People First’s Pretoria chairperson Thulani Ndebele.
The grouping is expected to meet again early next month.
“It is not fair for those who are not government officials for they are excluded from voting in the Diaspora and it is not by choice,” says DVC convenor Lawrence Mavhaire adding that it was not a political project but a way to give as many Zimbabweans as possible a voice .
“We are setting the foundation the work to build will come from the coalition. Noone should just sit and criticize,we need participatory democracy. It is our idea and if it fails,it is us failing as a collective and failing the millions of Zimbabwean voters,” says Mavhaire. – Patience Rusere