Sunday, 24 July 2022

WHY DIASPORA VOTING WILL NOT HAPPEN : ZIYAMBI

Over the past four years, the Government has instituted high-impact legislative reforms to help strengthen the country’s democracy and promote personal freedoms. Ahead of next year’s harmonised elections, plans are underway to reform the Electoral Act in order to guarantee a credible, free and fair election. Sunday Mail Reporter Debra Matabvu (DM) spoke to Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi (ZZ) on these and other issues.

ZZ: I am sure you remember that there was an outcry, especially from our people in the Diaspora, calling on us to stop amending the Constitution, and the Government listened.

The Diaspora vote cannot happen with the way the Constitution is right now.

The country is divided into 210 constituencies and our voting system is polling station-based.

For example, if someone votes in Zvimba constituency at Murombedzi Vocational Training Centre (VTC), this means that person cannot go and cast their vote at Murombedzi Primary School.

Their name will not appear on the voters’ roll at Murombedzi Primary School.

So it is not about those in Diaspora only.

This is the system that we have in the Constitution.

So those in the Diaspora cannot vote.

Even if we had assumed that the votes of those in the Diaspora will be sent to their polling station, it would be an administrative nightmare.

The logistical process may cause massive rigging.

Our system provides for that kind of voting for those in Government service.

One may argue that in South Africa it is allowed. Our electoral process is different from that of South Africa. The South African system is based on proportional representation and ours is a hybrid system.

With ours, you vote for a candidate of your choice, while in South Africa you vote for a party.

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