Zimbabweans in Britain want dual citizenship enshrined in the new constitution — which could give them the right to vote, and have vowed to press ahead with their vigil every Saturday at the Zimbabwean Embassy until the country returns to a democratic political culture.
The Zimbabwe Vigil, according to the organisers on their website, is held outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London every Saturday between 2pm and 6pm, “to protest against gross violations of human rights by the current regime in Zimbabwe”.
The organisers have said the vigil will continue until “internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe”.
Representatives from political parties in the GNU met with the Diaspora community representatives at an Africa Investment Conference last week in London where numerous issues were discussed, among them dual citizenship.
Officials from the Zimbabwean government who attended the meeting included Economic Planning minister Tapiwa Mashakada and Secretary for Youth, Indigenisation and Empowerment Prince Mupazviriho.
Zimbabwe’s ambassador to the UK Gabriel Machinga was also present at the meeting.
Industry and Commerce minister Welshman Ncube, Information Technology minister Nelson Chamisa and Mines deputy minister Gift Chimanikire were also expected, but failed to turn up.
According to a report by activist Barbara Naomi, one of the Diaspora community leaders who met the government delegation, the topic of dual citizenship in the new constitution was a contentious issue at the meeting.
“Most Zimbabweans felt that now that the government was seriously looking at the political roadmap, the stages that had to be taken seriously in that roadmap were the completion of the new constitution, where dual citizenship should definitely be on the agenda, and the new voters’ roll,” she said.