Mnangagwa sticks to his word, urges diaspora to register to vote

Mnangagwa sticks to his word, urges diaspora to register to vote
Published: 21 January 2018 (304 Views)
WHEN President Emmerson Mnangagwa assumed the highest office in the land he stated that the country will hold elections as scheduled this year.

He went further and advised political players to prepare for the polls, and last week, he reiterated that elections are coming this year, putting to rest speculation and false statements from various quarters that there were manoeuvres behind the scenes to have the elections postponed.

Speaking in Mozambique on the fourth leg of his tour of the region in which he is apprising Sadc heads of states about the political developments in Zimbabwe, President Mnangagwa said the elections should be transparent, free and fair. He said free and fair polls were critical in repositioning Zimbabwe as a democratic state within the international system.

"Zimbabwe is going for elections in four to five months' time and we have to preach peace, peace and peace because we know it is good for us and we have no doubt that we will have peaceful elections," said President Mnangagwa who has already expressed confidence that he and his party Zanu-PF will defeat weak opposition parties.

"I assure the regional leadership that the forthcoming harmonised polls will embrace the tenets of democracy, fair play and standards set by us in the Sadc. We will ensure that Zimbabwe delivers free, credible, fair and undisputable elections to ensure Zimbabwe engages the world as a qualified democratic state."

The statement was further testimony that the Head of State is a man of his word and in addition, also walks the talk, as evidenced by the various measures put in place in Government to resuscitate the economy with a hands on approach that has charmed the nation and the world at large.

President Mnangagwa also urged the Diaspora community to exercise its constitutional right to participate in the election process urging them to take advantage of the ongoing biometric voter registration exercise being conducted by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).

He, however, said Government was logistically incapacitated to facilitate voting outside Zimbabwe although the idea was desirable.

It is also prudent that Zimbabweans at home who are yet to register to vote take advantage of the new window of registration so that they are able to exercise their democratic right to choose the leadership that they want from grassroots to the national level. Of note is that the country is coming with a new voters' register, which means that anyone who wishes to participate in this year's voting exercise should register, regardless of the fact that they have voted before.

The new window for registration opened on 10 January and closes on 8 February.

"The idea is to cater for everyone who missed the initial exercise, especially the so-called aliens that were not allowed to register before by the High Court judgment by Justice Nyaradzo Munangati-Manongwa," acting ZEC chairperson Mr Emmanuel Magade said.

"We are also targeting those that might have missed because they did not have identity documents and the youths who may not have turned 18 when the initial programme ended. As ZEC we are pulling all the stops to make sure that everybody who desires to register is registered.

Ultimately, it's a personal choice for one to register, but we call upon all those people that have not registered to take advantage of the extension and register," he added.

During the four phases that ran from August to December last year, the electoral body registered 4,7 million people, well below an initial target of 7,2 million people.

- Sunday News

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