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“Diaspora vote ban is not our issue but a legislative problem,” says ZEC chairperson Makarau

10/07/2017 00:00:00
by Staff reporter
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THE issue of millions of Zimbabweans living in the diaspora not being eligible to register as voters does not fall under the Commission’s mandate but rests solely with political parties, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairperson, Rita Makarau, said.

She said the three political parties, the ruling Zanu PF, opposition MDC-T and MDC’s representatives in Parliament need to change the law.

ZEC, she said, was “simply to implementing” the law.

“Yes it’s true that millions of Zimbabweans living in the diaspora won’t be registered for the 2018 general election unless if they come to register in the country,” said Makarau Monday to journalists.

“ZEC will not be able to set up facilities abroad for those living in the diaspora because currently the legal frame work does not make a provision for that.”

She added, “And we also have a decision coming from the highest court in the land affirming that position, that there is no mandate or power on the part of ZEC to put up such structures outside the country.”

“Political parties particularly those who have representation in Parliament should respond to them as they are the law makers.

“Go and make the appropriate law that will allow us to register them and we will then implement it,” the ZEC chairperson said.

Commenting on whether some voters will be able to vote for their Presidential candidates “only” from anywhere in the country, Makarau said while this makes sense unfortunately there is no law that provides for that.  

“Our law at the moment says you go back, not only to the ward that you are registered in, but actually to the polling station you are registered,” she said.

“And if you can’t vote at that polling station, then it means you can’t even vote for your preferred Presidential candidate.”

“Maybe we need to engage the law makers and see if that can be amended, it’s not a ZEC issue but a legislative issue,” she added.


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