Calls for the government of Zimbabwe to allow citizens in the diaspora to vote have intensified with MyRight2Vote, a Zimbabwean group led by the dethroned Ntabazinduna Chief Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni, the latest to add its voice to the demand.
In a recent document, MyRight2Vote accused the government of hypocrisy by enjoying huge diaspora remittances while denying those who give it the remittances the opportunity to choose their government representatives through actualising the diaspora vote.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya recently announced that diaspora remittances for 2020 hit US$1 billion. MyRight2Vote said:
This is very significant. This figure equates to the totality of reserves, which the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has.
It is the full Zimbabwean mortgage, as a country. Our total worth as a country. Profound indeed.
Yet this Zimbabwean diaspora is by policy, denied the human Right to vote in all Zimbabwean plebiscites.
This position by the government of Zimbabwe amounts to ‘Taxation without representation’. Democracy, by definition, completely rejects such a position.
MyRight2Vote seeks to give the Zimbabwean diaspora a voice since they are taxpayers in Zimbabwe even though they live in the diaspora.
In this regard, there will be initiatives by MyRight2Vote, the Zimbabwean diaspora and the international arena to effect ethical financial services, with respect to these remittances.
The group seeks to have the diaspora allowed to vote in legislative and presidential polls in the next general election in 2023.
The ZANU PF government has been accused of stifling efforts to ensure the diaspora voted for fear the numerous economic refugees domiciled outside the country could tilt the vote in favour of the opposition.