Zimbabwe to allow diaspora participation in election

Sibusiso Moyo

Zimbabwe’s foreign affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo says the country is working on logistics that would enable citizens who live outside the country to vote in the general and presidential elections scheduled for later this year.

Sibusiso said Zimbabweans living abroad have a right to participate in the election as the “constitution allows them to vote.”

Under former president Robert Mugabe’s administration, members of the diaspora were not allowed to cast their ballots.

This often caused disputes within the country’s political leadership, as mainly opposition leaders advocated for those in the diaspora to be allowed to vote.

According to Bloomberg, about a quarter of Zimbabweans live outside the country, pushed out by the economic hardships that have plagued Zimbabwe for decades.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa earlier this year announced that the country would hold the vote before July.

This will be the first election since Zimbabwe’s independence that will not have Mugabe on the ballot.

Mnangagwa’s administration also earlier this month announced that it would allow foreign envoys to send election observers during that vote.

Mugabe had banned western observers from Zimbabwe’s previous elections, accusing them of bias in their reports.