Zim voters vow to go back home and finish off Zanu PF in re-run

JOHANNESBURG  -  REGISTERED Zimbabwean voters based in South Africa have vowed to return home and help end President Robert Mugabe's 28-year reign, during a run-off election against Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

The exiled voters maintain they will finish off President Mugabe (84), who lost the March 29 presidential poll, and his ruling party, which also surrendered its stranglehold on parliament to the opposition.

The pledge comes hot on the heels of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) releasing the results of the controversial presidential poll, which despite President Mugabe’s defeat, produced no outright winner, thus paving way for a run-off poll, whose date is yet to be announced.

According to ZEC, Tsvangirai polled 47.8 percent of the vote while Mugabe received 43.2 percent.

“This time, we have to make sure he gets way less than that,” said

Sikhumbuzo Ngwenya of Braamfontein, who travelled to Zimbabwe to cast his vote on March 29.

“It’s time we Zimbabweans inside the country and outside brought an end to a presidential reign that has brought hunger and poverty to the people and forced millions of us out of the country,” said Ngwenya.

There is an estimated three million Zimbabweans living in South Africa, a significant number of them registered voters. There is concern that these are reluctant to vote and thus supporting President Mugabe’s leadership.

Grace Tarwireyi urged the exiles to go back home in their numbers and vote out President Mugabe.

“Those who went to Zimbabwe and voted did a splendid job. They should do likewise this time around while those who did not heed the message ahead of the March 29 poll should follow their example.  

“I am confident that with such a strategy, there is no way (President) Mugabe can overturn the embarrassing defeat,”

the Pretoria-based Zimbabwean said.

The voter education projects such as Rock Vote Campaign are mobilising South African-based voters to use their democratic right to vote in Zimbabwe.  

An official from Rock the Vote said they were working on plans to assist Zimbabweans travel home and participate in the elections.

“Ahead of the March 29 elections we organised buses to transport the exile voters home. Now that there is a possibility of a run-off, we are discussing strategies how such an initiative can be put in place again,” he said.

There are fears that such voters may be targets of escalating violence during the election as most of them are deemed anti-Mugabe. This, however, is not deterring some exiled voters.

“We are no better than families and friends back home that are being victimised. It is high time we voted against the culture of violence by voting (President) Mugabe out once and for all in the run-off,” said Xolani Moyo of Berea–CAJ News.

Post published in: News

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