ConCourt rejects Diaspora vote bid

THE Constitutional Court (ConCourt) yesterday effectively barred millions of Zimbabweans based in the diaspora from voting in this year’s polls after it dismissed an application for amendment of provisions of the Electoral Act to allow them to vote from their respective bases.

BY XOLISANI NCUBE

In passing judgment, Deputy Chief Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza said: “After considering all arguments before the court, it was agreed that it could not succeed. The application is, therefore, dismissed with no order as to costs.”

The appeal had been filed by three Zimbabwean diasporans; Gabriel Shumba and Sibonile Mfumisi (both based in South Africa), and United Kingdom-based Darlington Nyambiya.

Through their lawyer, Thabani Mpofu the trio had urged that section 23(3) of the Electoral Act must be revisited, so as to enable the country’s citizens living abroad to exercise their voting rights.

“There is no need for the Constitution to be amended instead it is the State that must amend its position,” Mpofu said in reference to section 23(3) of the Electoral Act, which prohibits any Zimbabwean citizen, who would have been living outside the country for over 12 months, to participate in the country’s electoral
processes.

“If the Constitution allows them (Diasporans) to remain on the voters’ roll, that’s the end of the matter, but currently, they are not allowed to participate in the country’s electoral processes for staying out of the country for over 12 months.”

But State counsel, Vernanda Munyoro argued that only Zimbabweans living outside the country on national duty were eligible to vote, adding that those that left because of socio-economic problems could not be allowed to enjoy the same privillege.

“Our Constitution did not anticipate there would be Diasporans, as is the case today and, therefore, what is contained in the Electoral Act is constitutional,” she said, adding people vote according to their constituencies and those living in the Diaspora would be eligible to cast their votes only if they were registered voters.

22 Comments

  1. good let us decide who takes over the reign not those who ran away leaving us to face the wrath of the deposed regime now its our time to decide and surely we will decide in 60days

    1. See you in 60 days

  2. Neither here nor there. Who cares. Argument put forward is flimsy.

  3. Mgobhozi Wezintabeni

    This is a horrible and retrogressive judgement.It has revealed the timid or lack of duty care or both of the judicial to uphold and defend the issue of a basic element of human rights provided in the country’s supreme law.It appears Zimbabweans are sub standard human beings whose rights could be trampled upon without a recourse to the country’s institutions that are supposed to hold both the legislative and executive arms of government to account.The Concourt should had simply ordered the government to take reasonable and immediate steps to ensure that legislative provision is put in place to ensure that the diasporians participate in the country’s harmonised general elections.

  4. @Eliasha ..I think something is not very right with you..it is either you are bennefiting directily from this system or you are just a retard…What do you hope to benefit from fellow Zimbabweans being denied their right..Voting,is a right not a privilege like what that so called concourt wants us to bealive..
    Lastly I dont know what you mean when you accuse people whose money is making that economy move everyday for running away,waida kuti tizoba mari yenyika tese muzanu here…Tinokwana here..imi maivaka mamansions nemari fzedu dzamaiba…Were it not for diasporans most families in Zimbabwe would have died of hunger…Were it not for the people suffering in SA and Botswana kabusiness kako kacho kauri kuita kangadai kasipo ..waitengesera ani…vabereki vanotenga nemari dzatinotumira isu…Think with your head..
    .Most people in the diaspora are struggling be it in the Europe,Australia,Canada or USA..People are suffering vachitumira mari dzamuri kuba imi ana Eliasha maguta, morutsa nemukanwa…The current ZANUPF is the same system that supported Mugabe until the economy was distroyed..Today you play innocent trying to blame RG …makanga musiri mese here imimi muchimufurira kuponda nyika…Shameless political turncoats…Zuro ndizuro maiti munhu wese kuna amai…

    1. the most legitimate thing was to fight the repressive regime with whatever means basic lesson in life, do not run away from problems but learn to face them HeadOn any other reasoning nor argument does not stick

    2. @Manhize you should have stopped your response with the word retard. Said individual cannot understand zvimwe zvese zvawareva

      1. neither do we care and the current system hence reason why you were barred from casting your vote and we will do it on behalf of all cowards outside the borders that’s how sweet it is.

    3. @Manhize very well analysed.

  5. Is it not a fact that those who need to cast their vote registered through the BVR system? How then, do you expect these Diasporas to vote when they are not registered and worse when they are not resident in any one of our defined constituencies? Sounds quite absurd that somebody wants to benefit from some outside vote as if Zimbabweans resident in their mother country do not know who to vote for.

  6. What I don’t understand is if someone has citizenship/permanent residency in say SA then they can vote in that country but still want to vote again in Zimbabwe?(Gabriel Shumba)…Is this right?

    1. Taurayi zvamunoziva PR haivhote mu SA

  7. chero mukaita sei chamisa akuhwina

    1. I like your comment.

  8. in which country not zimbabwe he may try rwanda where he left an ict dossier with paul kagame

  9. If people in the diaspora are not allowed to vote this is not democracy

  10. Whatever the judge may think, and however he or she may try and interpret the law, the Constitution is very clear where it says, “the state MUST take all appropriate measures, including legislative measures, to ensure that effect is given to the principles set out in subsection (1), which are that elections MUST be (a) based on universal adult suffrage and equality of votes, and (b) free from violence and other electoral malpractices; reads Section 155 of the Constitution. Why has the State not taken, it is a MUST, to legislate so that all adult Zimbabweans, wherever they may be, are allowed to vote? Is it not an electoral malpractice on the part of the State to deny any citizen of Zim the right to vote? The state MUST legislate inclusively or it becomes a dereliction of duty or abrogation of its responsibilities, on the part of the State, culminating in the disenfranchisement of a section of the Zimbabwean population. That to me is UNCONSTITUTIONAL, writ quite large. So, is the Zim govt respectful of the Constitution?

  11. The ghost of Mugabe needs to be exorcised. That unconstitutional 12 month clause was a deliberate Robert Mugabe ploy to fix MDC-T supporters whom he felt constituted the majority of diasporans.

  12. Mgobhozi Wezintabeni

    That is super stuff.Some people are so ignorant that there are not aware that the state has the duty to protect its own citizens where ever they are.Voting is a basic fundamental right and among first generation rights.The state should had taken all necessary and immediate steps in ensuring that Diasporas are enfranchised.Those guys who lost this case should take the matter to international institutions such as the African Court on Human and Peoples’Rights for adjudication.What the Concourt did was the violation of not only the African Charter on Human and Peoples’Rights but also the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which I believe Zimbabwe is a signatory and had incorporated some of its provisions into the country’s Bill of Rights which is enshrined in our supreme law.

  13. Comment…Ko handivo here vanhu ava vakatenga ndenge nezvitima? Aha! Mari yavo inodiwa, asi vhoti KWETE.

  14. In the olden days mankind used to experience much fewer problems on much smaller scale. However the more people fathers created the greater the increase in national problems world over. Until and unless mankind applies brakes to population growth rate mankind shall always inadvertantly celebrate birth of fresh big problem in process of celebrating discovered solution to particular national headache. Otherwise the new Zimbabwe MERELY demands selfless leadership in the front and the rest of us to humbly follow them.

  15. In the olden days mankind used to experience much fewer problems on much smaller scale. However the more people fathers created the greater the increase in national problems world over. Until and unless mankind applies brakes to population growth rate mankind shall always inadvertantly celebrate birth of fresh big problem in process of celebrating discovered solution to particular national headache. Otherwise the new Zimbabwe MERELY demands selfless leadership in the front and the rest of us to humbly follow them.

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