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Zimbabweans in the diaspora can still register to vote

by Staff reporter
11 Feb 2013 at 14:27hrs | 3007 Views
The Draft Constitution, which is scheduled to be presented before a referendum next month, is a victory for the country owing to its defence of the national interest, a Cabinet minister has said.

In an interview last week, Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa said Zimbabweans should vote for the document in the impending poll.

He said going against it would defeat the interests of Zimbabwe and the fight against imperialism.

"This is a beautiful document. If by chance it is rejected, I can assure you it will be a defeat for the interests of Zimbabweans and those who sacrificed their lives for the independence of this country," he said.

"We have managed to protect those issues that are dear to us. The land issue is a foregone conclusion. We agreed that it is irreversible. The issues which were in contention are now history.

"We have made sure that our revolution has been consolidated."

Chinamasa said concessions made around the devolution of power also made the proposed supreme law a worthwhile piece of legislation.

He said it was in the interest of Zimbabwe that parties to the Global Political Agreement acceded to ensure power was delegated to the smallest unit of the country.

"As a party and Government we have always wanted to delegate duties to the smallest unit of our community throughout the country.

"We have never had problems with that arrangement as a party."

The minister added that Zimbabweans in the Diaspora will not be barred from voting provided they are on the voters' roll.

"We, as a Government, have never denied people in the Diaspora the chance to vote, provided these people are registered voters. Those who can afford to come and vote should do so.

People just want to make noise and most of these noises have no justification. Why should we do that? Are people asked to produce their passports so that they can cast their votes?

"All you need to do is to produce your national identification and be on the voters' roll." He also urged all Zanu-PF supporters to vote "Yes" during the constitutional referendum.

"People also need to realise that it is a compromise document. However, I can assure all Zimbabweans that we have successfully defended all those issues which are dear to us.

"So, it is all systems go for a 'Yes' vote. What we are not going to do is take our few resources to go and register people in the Diaspora to vote.

"The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) will not do that. The Registrar-General's Department will also not do that. Let those who want to vote come and vote."

Zimbabwe will next month hold a constitutional referendum to vote on the Draft Constitution crafted through a process led by the Constitution Select Committee.

Last week, the Draft was tabled before the House of Assembly and Senate where legislators threw their weight behind it.

President Mugabe is now expected to announce the date of the referendum.

Presenting the document in the Lower House last Wednesday, Copac co-chair Mr Douglas Mwonzora said Zimbabweans should support the Draft.

"This constitution is a very good document. It has brought national healing amongst us as legislators," he said.

"We were always together. You would not have been able to distinguish between MDC-T and Zanu-PF officials during the (crafting) process."

"We have shown tolerance, peace and love amongst ourselves; we have shown the oneness in nation-building during this constitution-making process." 

Source - Sunday Mail
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