Dethroned Ntabazinduna chief, Felix Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni, recently said that there are 5.5 million Zimbabweans in the diaspora who should be allowed to vote in the 2023 elections.
Ndiweni, who is the chairperson of MyRight2Vote pressure group, based in the United Kingdom, said both ZANU PF and ZAPU promised Zimbabweans the right to vote during the liberation struggle, therefore, diasporans should not be denied their fundamental right.
Ndiweni argued that holding an election without citizens based abroad would render the outcome illegitimate. Said Ndiweni:
As a person who has been complaining about diaspora voting, this is a burning issue. It is a human right to be allowed to vote.
About 5.5 million Zimbabweans in the diaspora have been denied their right to vote.
To make things worse, this human right was promised during the war of liberation by ZANU PF, by ZAPU.
So, we have a deep historical basis for demanding this right because wherever we look, this right was given and it has been taken from the Zimbabwean populace in the diaspora.
The population in the diaspora is nearly 50% of the voting population in Zimbabwe. This is a formidable percentage.
Ndiweni’s comments came weeks after Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda (ZANU PF) said electoral laws should be amended to allow for diaspora vote.
Mudenda, however, was chided by his party for his remarks. ZANU PF is opposed to the diaspora vote and this is not surprising considering that the majority of Zimbabweans living abroad left the country due to the unfavourable economic environment.