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MDC-T calls on Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to return home and register to vote

Monday, 09 October 2017

All eligible Zimbabweans must be able to register to vote

The democratic notion of one person one vote was one of the key pillars and rallying points of the armed liberation struggle against racist colonial exploitation and subjugation.

As a social democratic political party, the MDC fervently believes in and indeed, passionately advocates for a situation in which all eligible Zimbabweans, without exception, are able to exercise their constitutional right not only to register to vote but also to be able to freely and fairly cast their ballot on polling day.

The MDC welcomes the fact that ZEC is launching a nationwide BVR exercise commencing on Tuesday, October 10, 2017. This is a historic exercise that must, without fail, cover each and one of the country’s 1958 wards. Mobile BVR teams should be capacitated to reach even the most remote of the country’s wards. By the time that the mobile BVR exercise comes to a halt in January, 2018, no single eligible Zimbabwean should be left out in the registration process.

Thousands of gallant sons and daughters of the soil paid the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that we obtain the one person one vote principle. Thus, we shouldn’t betray these gallant and selfless heroes and heroines by deliberately disenfranchising eligible Zimbabweans.

We have millions of second, third and even fourth generation Zimbabweans of all races and ethnic background. These are people whose parents, grandparents and great grandparents originally came from neighbouring countries such as Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Namibia, Botswana and some of these people’s ancestors also came from overseas countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Portugal, Italy, Germany and many other countries. These people consider Zimbabwe to be their permanent home and it is actually degrading and insulting to continue to refer to these people as aliens.

The word ‘alien’ smacks of discrimination and segregation. This word should actually be immediately removed from our vocabulary if we are to foster a united and patriotic Republic of Zimbabwe in which there is no discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, creed, ethnicity and religion.

ZEC have a mammoth task on their hands to register all eligible Zimbabweans as voters. We hope and trust that the national treasury will ensure that ZEC is adequately financed and capacitated to undertake a thorough and all–embracing BVR exercise.

The MDC would like to take this opportunity to, once again, call upon all eligible Zimbabweans, including those people living in the Diaspora, to make sure that they sacrifice and come back home to enable them to register to vote. Our fight for the Diaspora vote continues unabated but in the interim, Zimbabweans in the Diaspora are kindly called upon to do the honourable and patriotic duty of coming back  home to register to vote. The millions of Zimbabweans in the South African Diaspora are humbly urged to cross the border into the town of Beitbridge where they can register to vote before they can return to their foreign bases.

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