The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has urged Zimbabweans living abroad to temporarily return home and register as voters ahead of the crucial 2023 polls as the government continues to dig in on the diaspora vote.
While some Southern African countries allow their citizens based in other countries to vote from where they are domiciled, Zimbabweans residing outside the country are yet to enjoy that privilege and legal challenges on the issue have hit a snag.
“As for our position as CCC, on people who are living outside the country, we wish they should be enabled to vote from wherever they are, what is known as the diaspora vote but simply because current Zimbabwean laws do not allow that we would like them – our children, our brothers, our parents – who are outside the country to return home whenever they get an opportunity and visit ZEC (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) offices and register to vote,” the opposition’s Matabeleland South spokesperson, Ntando Ndlela told CITE.
According to recent Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) population results, Matabeleland South has the highest number of people living outside the country.
“Registering to vote is not a difficult but an easy thing,” said Ndlela.
“It is such an easy process that could be completed in 15 to 20 minutes. Not so many things are required, it is just your ID, your village, the village head and chief. We, therefore, encourage our people to come back home in their numbers and register to vote because that is the only thing that is going to create change. That’s the only thing that will enable them to come back home and work to develop Zimbabwe in future.”
He said Zimbabweans both within and outside the country should be determined in bringing about the desired change they want.
“Complaining from outside will not bring any change,” he said.
“Let’s unite in our numbers and remove the ZANU-PF government. Here is an opportunity for the people of Matabeleland South and Zimbabwe at large to make some serious political changes. Here is an opportunity to get a better future for ourselves and that one for our children.”
He further emphasized: “It does not help to just complain and do nothing. People should go out in their numbers and register to vote. There is nothing greater than registering to vote. People should register to vote in their numbers in order for them to stand a better chance to vote for change next year.”