Sanctions are standing in the way of diaspora vote – ZANU PF

by | Jun 25, 2021 | Politics | 0 comments

Hosia Mviringi

ZANU PF has once again poured cold water on the idea of a diaspora vote, saying the idea is not feasible for as long as economic and political sanctions against the country remain in place.

The revolutionary Party’s Acting National Political Commissar, Cde Patrick Anthony Chinamasa was addressing his first press conference since assuming the role on June 2, 2021.

“When it comes to diaspora vote, it must be noted that the position of the revolutionary Party ZANU PF has not changed and will not change in the foreseeable future.
We are saying that diaspora vote cannot be allowed for as long as sanctions against the country remain in place.The playing field is not level because as a party we should be able to canvass for support when it’s election time,” said Cde Chinamasa.

He said the current situation, which inhibits travel of some of the country and party`s senior officials from travelling to some European countries will place them at an unfair disadvantage.
“We should be allowed to conduct our political activities in those countries without restrictions, just like our competitors.
But in the present set up where our officials cannot travel to such jurisdictions as the EU countries, the US, Canada, Australia and many others who keep sanctions on us, this can never be feasible,” said Cde Chinamasa.

“As a party we should be free to send whoever we want to represent the party and canvass for support in those countries, but when you have your senior officials still specified and banned in those countries, it cannot work.
The onus thus remain on those who are desperately pushing for diaspora vote to play ball and have sanctions removed,” added Cde Chinamsa.

The US sanctions on Zimbabwe under ZIDERA sanctions Act of 2001 prohibits many senior ZANU PF officials from travelling to that country and similar laws exist in most European Union countries including Britain, the former colonial power.

The Zimbabwe Ambassador-Designate to Mozambique, Cde Victor Matemadanda, who was also present at the media briefing reminded the nation that the diaspora vote was not catered for in the current Zimbabwe Constitution of 2013.

He said that it was up to Parliament to move to amend the Constitution so that it adequately provides for postal vote.

Under the current constitution elections are polling station based, meaning that for one to be an eligible voter, they have to be registered at their local or preferred polling station in Zimbabwe.

No provisions for external or diaspora polling centres exist in the current constitution.

However, Cde Chinamasa said that even if legislative moves were made to amend the constitution, ZANU PF will not let the amendments pass because of current restrictions that remain an obstacle to ZANU PF’s full participation in the exercise.

In a sure sign of unity and harmony between Cde Chinamasa and his predecessors, he was flanked by three former National Political Commissars of the revolutionary party that include Cde Webster Shamu, Cde Engelbert Rugeje and Cde Victor Matemadanda