Embassy protesters call for diaspora vote

PRETORIA - Exiled Zimbabwean protesters say they will not give up their fight until diasporans are allowed to participate in next year's elections - and called for the Zimbabwean Embassy to be closed down, as it is not serving any purpose.
A few days after hundreds of Zimbabweans marched in prot

est to the embassy in Pretoria, organisers of the demonstration said the resistance strategy would be held again next week.
The main wing of the Movement for Democratic Change, the Revolutionary Youth Movement and other civic organizations, organized the protests.
“The just-ended demonstrations were successful. They are going ahead on Friday and beyond, until our grievances are met,” said Mufaro Hove, one of the organisers.
Last week, more than 500 Zimbabweans living in South Africa handed over a petition to the Zimbabwean High Commissioner to South Africa, Simon Khaya Moyo, regarding their right to vote.
Zimbabwe goes into crucial elections next year to elect a president and parliamentarians but millions of Zimbabweans resident in South Africa and elsewhere stand no chance of participating because the government doest no accept the diaspora vote.
This is in violation of SADC and international electoral laws.
The demonstrators have also threatened to stage a sit-in at the Zimbabwean embassy because, they say, of its failure to come to their rescue on the problems they face in this country.
“We have engaged former Zimbabwean high commissioners to South Africa without success in our quest to push for the diaspora vote. Perhaps the solution is to shut it down because it does not serve its purpose and is not representing Zimbabweans. We will stage a sit-in at the embassy until we get our rightful vote,” said MDC Gauteng chairman, Austin Moyo.
The embassy has in recent years been the scene of many demonstrations by Zimbabweans, calling for the diaspora vote and the addressing of the crisis unfolding in the country.
Commentator Luke Zunga said the government was unlikely to give in to calls to allow Zimbabwean exiles to vote in next year’s elections.
“I doubt that the government will have the capacity to put such a facility in place. However, through mock elections that we held in protest in the embassy, we displayed that a diaspora vote is possible,” he said.
Trust Matsileli reports that the MDC and the Revolutionary Youth Movement last week managed to convince Kaya Moyo to agree to sign a petition.
Over 500 Zimbabweans marched from the Union buildings to the Zimbabwean embassy in Arcadia were they demanded to have their demands heard by the Zimbabwean government next week when they hand in the petition.
The MDC’s Nqobizitha Mlilo said such steps were necessary, not only in pressurizing the Zimbabwean government to stop human-rights atrocities but also as a message to the region and SA that Zimbabweans are a peace-loving nation and love their country.
“This is an expression of patriotism for people who have left their country, to still be seen lobbying for a restoration of democracy so that they may go back. It is opposite to the view that they are economic migrants. The solution remains a political one,” said Mlilo.
A leading activist arrested last week for organizing the demonstration, the Rev Mufaro Hove, called on the Zimbabwean government to stop torturing political opponents, and called on Zimbabweans to fight the common enemy, Mugabe.
“I also call on you, Kaya Moyo, to join the struggle of liberating Zimbabweans from the oppressive leader Robert Mugabe as his dictatorship has affected everyone, including those in Zanu (PF),” said Hove.
Moyo apparently undertook to next week sign the petition from the two organizations. – CAJ News and Own Correspondent

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