Makarau reiterates that diasporans can only vote if Constitution is amended

Addressing journalists in Harare today, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Chairperson Justice Rita Makarau said until the constitution is amended, Zimbabweans in the diaspora will have to come back home to vote in the 2018 elections as the electoral management body is currently not mandated to ensure their participation.

Said Makarau:

The issue of diaspora vote is not a ZEC problem but a legislative problem. We need to align the law in order to adopt that. At the moment the law says those in the diaspora must come to vote at their registered polling stations.We take into consideration that everyone has the right to vote but as long as we do not align the current legislative framework, we will continue with the current status quo.

Makarau said ZEC is currently conducting a polling station mapping exercise using the same polling stations used in the 2013 elections as a baseline. She added that although they have received $900 000 funding for the exercise, they still need more financial assistance if the process is to be completed by the April 2017 deadline.

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