THE MDC Alliance has expressed concern over the sidelining of the so-called aliens in the biometric voter registration (BVR) exercise, describing the move as a violation of their right to vote.
BY SILAS NKALA
This came after Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede early this month told the Parliamentary Thematic Committee on Peace and Security that aliens can only be citizens, if they applied for citizenship status and renounced their foreign citizenship.
Speaking to Southern Eye yesterday, MDC Alliance Bulawayo provincial chairperson Felix Magalela Sibanda said they noted with dismay the manner in which aliens were being disenfranchised by the Registrar-General’s Office and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) in the registration process.
“Thousands of bona fide citizens are denied their constitutional right to register as potential voters in 2018 plebiscite,” he said, adding that at least 50% of residents in old high-density suburbs such as Makokoba, Sizinda, Magwegwe, Luveve, Mpopoma Matshobana, Mabutweni, Pumula were ‘aliens’ of Malawian, Zambian and Mozambican origin hence the low number of registrants in the current registration exercise.
“This is a cause for concern to Bulawayo, in particular, and other urban centres in general. As MDC Alliance, we are demanding that Zec adheres to the Constitution how citizenship is acquired in Zimbabwe.”
“This is similar to why Diasporans are also denied or being disenfranchised deliberately by the regime. As an alliance of the people and by the people, we are demanding the adherence to the aforesaid constitutional provisions, otherwise the 2018 plebiscite will be disputed and shall lack legitimacy,” he said.
“We are appealing to the regional and international community to intervene and cause normalcy before it is too late. We are afraid to contemplate the would-be sociopolitical situation after the disputed 2018 elections based on unfair voter registration thereof. We still in the game and hope Registrar-General’s Office and other relevant government departments will come to their full senses and allow the so-called aliens register as any bona fide citizens.”