Zimbabweans in the Diaspora Must Be Allowed to Vote – and Politicians’ Paranoia Is Preventing It

The view that Zimbabweans living abroad are misinformed about the situation back home is false. Poverty and unemployment brought about by economic hardship, bankruptcy and corruption forced them to look for better opportunities abroad.

Anotida Chikumbu is a historian and political economist. He is a PhD candidate and assistant lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. David Anodiwanashe Chikwaza is a researcher and scholar of political science and international development studies.

There are several theories about the Zimbabwean government’s failure to implement the diaspora vote. The one closest to the truth is that there is no political will to push for more widespread implementation because of the uncertainty about the number of Zimbabwean emigrants and their political preferences.

Calls for the extension of voting rights to Zimbabweans living and working in the diaspora are generating a highly competitive political atmosphere ahead of the 2023 general elections, making politicians paranoid about the potential impact of diaspora votes.

In 2018, President Emmerson Mnangagwa pledged to extend voting rights to millions of Zimbabweans abroad – a move that, if implemented, would answer a decades-long plea by the country’s citizens in the diaspora, who have consistently asked for the…


Source link : https://allafrica.com/stories/202107090879.html

Author : Daily Maverick

Publish date : 2021-07-09 15:56:45

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