MDC-T be warned on diaspora vote
One could argue that, in the forthcoming elections, the Diaspora vote could
be potentially MDC’s most effective means of sweeping to power. However,
reports that the Movement for Democratic Change led by Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai appears helpless in safeguarding that vote in this month’s
Electoral Amendment Bill could have far-reaching implications.
If Mugabe can just change any law unilaterally, regardless of the will of
the people as expressed through their representatives in parliament, so why
is MDC in Parliament? Presidential temporary emergency powers and the
prerogative of mercy which have been abused at election time can be
abolished or amended so as to be vetoed by Parliament among many checks and
balances which are long overdue on the Zimbabwe’s executive presidency.
It would be very reckless and suicidal for MDC-T to lend Zanu-pf a hand in
disenfranchising millions of Zimbabweans who were forced to leave the
country due to circumstances beyond their control and are living under very
difficult conditions abroad hoping for one opportunity to vote the regime
out of power peacefully.
Ensuring that the Diaspora vote is restored in the Electoral Amendment Bill
is the sole responsibility of the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC
led by Welshman Ncube since Zanu-pf is opposed to it. To safeguard the
Diaspora vote is not an act of charity. It is a national duty. The
experience of the GNU has been so agonising and regrettable that no sane
person wants it for any day longer.
MDC-T and of course the other MDC and Zanu-pf are better advised not to
underestimate the power of the Diaspora to campaign vigorously against any
injustices perpetrated by the coalition government in Harare. Feigning
poverty in order to deny millions of displaced Zimbabweans of their right to
vote in the most decisive and historic poll would be grossly mischievous and
Given the traditional Zanu-pf ritual of politically motivated violence,
abductions, torture, murder and destruction of property, any hope of free
and fair elections in Zimbabwe minus the Diaspora vote is irresponsible.
The MDC-T will have no-one to blame but itself if the Diaspora is
disenfranchised through the Electoral Amendment Bill now before Parliament.
Similarly, MDC-T should not underestimate the ability of the millions of
people in the Diaspora to fight for their democratic right to vote and even
if it means falling out with former allies.
One would have thought that the MDC-T has learnt enough lessons from its
experience in the coalition with Zanu-pf’s perennial cry of anti-sanctions.
Today it’s Zanu-pf moaning about targeted sanctions and asset freezes.
Inevitably, there will be new candidates if the MDC succeeds in
disenfranchising millions of Zimbabweans forced to live as second-class
citizens abroad, thanks to Mugabe’s dictatorship.
Enough is enough, especially after the MDC agreed to the Electoral Amendment
Bill in its flawed condition in Cabinet and also voted for the Chinese loan
deal for a spy centre which has the potential of causing human rights
violations in Zimbabwe. What more harm is worse than disenfranchising your
own people? Don’t say we did not warn you.
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London,
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