AN ambitious programme, which seeks to encourage Zimbabweans living in the Diaspora to return home and register to vote in the 2018 general election has been launched.
by Own Correspondent
Leader of the Zimbabwe Yadzoka, Mayibuye iZimbabwe campaign, Victor Chimhutu, told NewsDay yesterday that the campaign came after realisation that the Zanu PF government did not want nationals living outside the country to cast their votes in the Diaspora.
Chimhutu, who is based in Norway, said the campaign would first target cities such as Dublin, London, Edmonton, Toronto, Birmingham, Oslo, Bergen, Cape Town and Pretoria before spreading to other countries.
“Constitutionally, Zimbabweans in the Diaspora are allowed to vote, but Zanu PF is determined to suppress this vote and frustrate our quest for a new Zimbabwe. So, for those Zimbabweans in the region, South Africa and Botswana, among other countries, we are mobilising them to come to register and then vote,” he said.
“Currently, social movements are locked in discussions on the best modalities to facilitate this. As for those far further, we ask those who can, to come and vote, because every vote is going to count in 2018. However, for those who will be denied by Zanu PF this opportunity, we encourage them to actively participate in the mass mobilisation of those that are already home.”
Chimhutu said Zimbabwe Yadzoka/Mayibuye iZimbabwe would also hold a series of protests in the Diaspora to garner support against President Robert Mugabe.
“As you are aware, we have declared 2017 as a year of unity and these demonstrations across different cities across the globe are a testimony of this unity of purpose. We have movements like Zimbabwe Yadzoka already facilitating this work, we do ask for more movements to join in and for more citizens to support this noble effort,” he said.
Chimhutu said a coalition of opposition political forces was critical in dislodging Zanu PF from power, adding that Zimbabweans should take it upon themselves to expose the excesses of Zanu PF to the international community.
Calls for a coalition of opposition parties are gathering momentum and Chimhutu said ordinary Zimbabweans must amplify the need for a united force against the ruling party.
“I think the main challenge is for us Zimbabweans to demonstrate how urgently we need this freedom. As Zimbabweans, we have everything we need to resoundingly defeat Zanu PF in 2018. This time we are prepared to go the distance as Zimbabwean citizens.
“It is upon us to mass mobilise and demand our opposition political leaders to come up with a coalition as soon as possible,” Chimhutu said.