SCORES of South Africa-based Zimbabweans yesterday stormed the Zimbabwean embassy in Pretoria, protesting against their government’s refusal to allow them to vote from outside the country’s borders.
BY SILAS NKALA
The protestors initially gathered at the South African government headquarters at Union Building in Pretoria before toyi-toying to the Zimbabwean embassy to present their petition.
In their petition, presented under the banner, #Diaspora Vote, My Right the protestors demanded to be allowed to register and vote in the 2018 general elections.
“The reasons for the march are that the Zimbabwean government should allow and facilitate that all Zimbabwean citizens living here vote within South Africa, allow freedom of speech before, during and after the elections, allow fair and unbiased media coverage of all presidential candidates, stop the various human rights violations by the Zanu PF militia and police, particularly in rural areas during this election period and beyond,” the petition read.
The Diasporans also demanded that the government allows Southern Africa Development Community and international elections observers in the country prior, during and after elections and to respect the will of the citizens of Zimbabwe.
“Zimbabwean government must engage SA Home Affairs department to sanitise the Zimbabwe Special Permits immediately and to ensure Zimbabweans living are treated with human dignity and respect and that special permits are given to Zimbabweans,” the petition which was handed over to the embassy staff read.
Zimbabwe’s ambassador to South Africa, Isaac Moyo and head of Zimbabwe’s consular section in South Africa Batiraishe Mukonoweshuro could not be reached for comment.