In November, last year I wrote to you at a time when Parliament was conducting hearings on election reforms. I requested that people in the Diaspora be allowed to make contribution as well, and you encouraged me to make a written submission through you, which submission you were to submit to the relevant Committee. At that time, the Chairperson of the Committee on Parliamentary and Legal Affairs was Honourable Jessie Majome. My email to you was also copied to the Speaker of Parliament, and I am copying both the former Committee Chair and the Speaker.
I also encouraged a few colleagues I communicate to who are in the Diaspora to send written views through the Clerk of Parliament, and I know a few of the few made submissions. But before we got any feedback, we read in the media that Honourable Jessie Majome who was Committee Chair had been relieved of her post; and unsurprisingly most recently, that the Zimbabwe Elections Commission (ZEC) has already produced election regulations which exclude the Diasporas from voting.
One wonders if those who submitted their positions to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee were taken for a ride. Given that the Speaker of Parliament who removed Honourable Majome from her role as Chairperson of the Portfolio committee is a Zanu PF official, and given that another Zanu PF official, Professor Jonathan Moyo has vowed before that Zanu PF would not entertain electoral reforms which could result in its defeat, and given that another Zanu PF official, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently threatened to stripe Zimbabweans based abroad of their citizenship, one but does conclude that Parliament and ZEC are playing to the whims of Zanu PF.
But we do not want to leave things to speculation, and would invite the Clerk of Parliament through whom our submissions were made to please update us on where we are with this. We should not have a situation where when the Government wants to benefit from the Diaspora from remittances that are a major boost to the economy, but at the same time fail to respect their democratic right to vote.
Post published in: Featured