New constitution will not allow Zim exiles to vote

May 3, 2012 at 11:38 am Leave a comment

By Tichaona Sibanda

The new constitution for Zimbabwe will still prevent individuals with dual
citizenship from voting in the next election,’ leading pro-democracy
activist Dewa Mavhinga said on Wednesday.

Millions of Zimbabweans have over the years been denied the right to
participate in national elections in Zimbabwe, having acquired citizenships
in their countries of exile.

Zimbabwe prohibits those with dual citizenship from voting. The new draft
that was presented to GPA negotiators on Monday by COPAC still contains a
clause that revokes Zimbabwean citizenship, if it is discovered the holder
is a citizen of another country

‘If a person acquired Zimbabwean citizenship by birth, having been presumed
to be such a citizen as provided in section 3, the citizenship may be
revoked if the person’s nationality or parentage becomes known, and reveals
that the person was a citizen of another country,’ reads a section from
Chapter 3 on Citizenship.

Mavhinga said it was clear there was no agreement on citizenship and that
the current Lancaster House constitution and the new draft favours the ZANU
PF position to prohibit dual citizenship.

It is expected that most of the contentious issues, like dual citizenship,
will only be dealt with after a new president has assumed office. ‘Although
a detailed legal analysis of the constitutional draft is pending there is
already emerging concern regarding a powerful executive president and the
fact that many of the unresolved issues are expected to be resolved by three
political principals.

‘The National Constitutional Assembly has also noted with concern that the
MDC formations had made too many concessions in this draft – such as on the
executive presidency, prohibition of dual citizenship, prohibition of gay
rights, prohibition of devolution, among other issues,’ Mavhinga said.

On Tuesday COPAC co-Chairman Douglas Mwonzora said the issue of dual
citizenship would be left to an Act of Parliament to determine.

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