Mnangagwa says no capacity for diaspora vote

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

HARARE– Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said Zimbabwe does not have the capacity to facilitate its citizens based outside the country to vote while in their countries of residence.

State-run news agency New Ziana reported Tuesday that Mnangagwa had on Monday told the Zimbabwean community in Namibia that the country did not have funds to allow voting to take place outside its borders.

“We do not have the logistics now or the capacity,” Mnangagwa told the audience during a question and answer session.

He said Zimbabweans in the diaspora had not been denied their right to vote as those who were “serious” could come back home to register under the on-going voter registration and vote when the time came.

Mnangagwa had made a one-day visit to Namibia to discuss with his counterpart Hage Geingob on the recent political changes in Zimbabwe, following similar visits to South Africa and Angola and ahead of several others in the Southern African Development Community.

Many Zimbabweans in the diaspora have been urging the government to allow them to vote while in their countries of domicile but the government has argued that it had funding constraints.

The country will go for elections most likely in the second half of 2018 with many people hoping that some electoral reforms will be implemented to ensure that they are more credible than in the past.

Mnangagwa said observers would be invited from the region, the continent as well as the international community to monitor the polls.

“Above that, every country that has an embassy in Zimbabwe is allowed five people to observe the elections,” he said.