HARARE – I find it insane that the MDC is literally going around the world to ask Zimbabwean economic refugees to go home and vote.
Really, how low can we get? How much would such votes cost each individual and is the MDC, let alone any political party in Zimbabwe, really worth it?
And just where is the money for such unnecessary globe-trotting coming from and can’t it be put to better use within the country where the party should really be campaigning?
Shouldn’t more effort be spent on fighting for the installation of the right political climate to hold such elections instead of running around the world coaxing people to return home where violence is getting out of hand, with the MDC unable to do anything about it?
Economic refugees are out there because they have access to something they cannot get back home. After almost four years in government, the MDC, with its coalition partners, has failed to improve the economic situation well enough to attract investors.
It is not a joke being a refugee; it takes courage to be a refugee, economic or political, and those people are trying to survive and take care of their families, something that a government made up of three political parties has failed to do.
It is without doubt that people in the Diaspora financially propped up the fledgling MDC at its formation. It is equally undisputed that they also assured their families survived the harsh economic conditions, the droughts, political blackmail of being denied food aid and the violence in the country.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who predictably is heading the gravy train, wants the people in the Diaspora to fly back into Zimbabwe, cast their vote and then fly back to work wherever they are. Is this realistic? Is it necessary?
Can more than three million Zimbabweans in the Diaspora take leave from work at the same time around the world and fly or drive into Zimbabwe on an agreed specific date, cast their ballots and return to their jobs in unison?
Surely, he does not expect them to stay home jobless when they have jobs outside the country?
How much money is Tsvangirai and his entourage spending on these trips and what is he offering in return?
If he really wanted to recognise the rights of the Zimbabwean Diaspora, why did he not stand his ground and demand that all Zimbabweans have the right to access a ballot paper and vote from wherever they are?
But instead, he traded our right to vote for something only he and his top colleagues can enjoy at the expense of the Diaspora voters.
Not all Zimbabweans abroad are MDC supporters.
Is Tsvangirai really burning to see people in the Diaspora voting or he is just out there to ask for money again from those outside the country because, honestly, this is not possible practically, mathematically and financially. It does not even make sense.
Meanwhile, Tsvangirai is unable to hold any rallies freely in Zimbabwe without arm-twisting the courts to allow him to do so here and there.
He cannot even protect any of his supporters, officials, Cabinet ministers and Zimbabweans in general but is asking Diasporans, some of whom are at great risk upon return, to venture into the country to cast a ballot for him with no safeguards for the entire voting population as if what happened to his supporters during the 2008 elections is of no consequence.
Zimbabweans deserve better consideration than this and I hope the MDC does not continue to take people for granted.
While I concede that home is best, it does no one any good to go home and just sit jobless while Chipangano waits for you by the gate.
It does no good to just be together for the sake of being together and starve together after being beaten up for no other reason than supporting a political party of one’s choice.
As one reader told a Zimbabwean daily, “Campaign at home and leave those Diasporans to deal with the pressures of living away from home.
Morgan should campaign here. Vakomana, ndiani ari kuronga zvisina basa so?”
This venture into the Diaspora to court votes among non-voters is just a ploy to go shopping — Tsvangirai should be campaigning at home. – Tanonoka Joseph Whande