Zimbabweans in South Africa protest for right to vote in next year’s election
A group of Zimbabweans in South Africa protested outside the Zimbabwean Consulate in Cape Town protested to demand for their right to vote in their country’s forth coming elections in 2018.
The protest on Friday was organized by the Democracy Restoration Party (DRP), under the leadership of Brian Mubvumbi.
The party is a political party that was formed by Zimbabwean refugees in Cape Town in 2011.
The group protested as they chanted slogans denouncing the President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe and his entire ZANU-PF Party.
The group says that the right of citizens to vote from wherever they are, is entrenched in their constitution. However, the government of Zimbabwe on the other side says that it will not allow Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to vote in the next year’s national elections.
The Zimbabwean government puts the blame of this decision to the fact that the country does not have enough funds to facilitate the process.
“The Zimbabwean government has denied the Zimbabweans in the Diaspora an opportunity to cast their vote from their countries of residence. The government blames lack of funds as the main reason to the decision. This however contradicts with the 2013 Constitution which gives every Zimbabwean a right to vote. Hence, we demand that the decision should be reversed,” said the DRP in a press statement.
The protesters say that, it is every Zimbabwean’s right irrespective of where they are around the world, to vote in their country’s general elections.
“Whether you are in Indonesia, in Jarkarta, you need to be able to vote. Whether you are in Australia, Norway or anywhere in the world, you need to be able to vote,” said one of the protesters.
Brian Mubvumbi, the Deputy President of the DRP Party, said that they cannot accept what their government claims that the country cannot financially afford to allow voting outside the country. He said it is a right also enshrined in the Universal declaration of Human Rights.
“Once you fail to provide those basics including the money to run the election, you then cease to be a government. So what are you doing? That’s the important question. We need to make it clear that we are tired, we need to transform our country to be accommodated back into the community of normal nations again,” informed Mr. Mubvumbi.
The Deputy President at this point called upon the African Union to intervene in the matter, and see to it that every Zimbabwean gets a chance to vote from foreign countries.
“The AU must start to engage with opposition parties. They must start to realize that what the ZANU-PF, the ruling party failed to do, has failed. You cannot draw water from a rock, it’s not happening and it makes Zimbabwe a failed state,” he explained.
The DRP party’s national coordinator, Victor Chimhau weighed Grace Mugabe’s recent comments when she called on her husband President Mugabe, to nominate his successor.
“Any succession issues are not going to provide any solution to the problems that Zimbabwe is facing at the moment. The ZANU-PF party and its systems have failed, and together in its entity, they need to step down.”
Reporter: Shamilah Namuddu