EDITOR — President Emmerson Mnangagwa tried hard to impress at the just-ended 48th World Economic Forum, but a few mistakes that he made could work against him.
The biggest error he made was to answer a question on whether the Zimbabweans living in the Diaspora were going to vote. He gave the impression that there were mechanisms in place to allow them to vote from wherever they are.
He said the Zimbabweans in the Diaspora are allowed to vote, but did not say that his administration is not making any attempt at all to enable Zimbabweans living outside the country to vote.
What Mnangagwa did not tell the audience was that for a Zimbabwean in China, the United States of America, Australia or New Zealand who wants to vote, they should make the long trip to Zimbabwe to register first as a new voters’ roll is being prepared. Come election time, they must travel the same journey to Zimbabwe to vote.
That can only be advocated for by a president who either has lost his brains, or is deliberately excluding certain voters who he suspects will not vote for him. That is illogical, that is not practicable.
While he emphasised that his administration wants to consolidate and deepen constitutionalism, the same Constitution he says he wants to uphold says Zimbabweans, wherever they are, should be given an opportunity to vote. Our president is truly a hypocrite.
Voter registration for Zimbabweans in the Diaspora could have been done through the Zimbabwean embassies, assisted by the host governments, and the registered voters would have been able to vote at voting centres in the countries they are, with all parties sending their election agencies to polling stations, and the votes counted at the centre. And it is not too late to do that.
He also gave an impression that he does not tolerate violence, but said he has no control over those who perpetuate violence as they do not apply that they want to engage in violent activity first, yet Zimbabweans have repeatedly complained that he should restrain the now-late violent youth Magura Charumbira who terrorised
Bulawayo residents, assaulting opposition officials and extorting money from vendors in broad daylight. He turned a blind eye to such preelection atrocities, but instead honoured the thug by conferring hero status on him when he passed on following a car accident.
While Mnangagwa was telling the world of the new electoral reforms, the chiefs whom he “bribed” with cars recently were busy employing intimidatory tactics by calling gullible villagers to come and have their voter registration slips recorded into Zanu PF databases.