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Forget the Senate, give us the vote!

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe will always impose his wishes on the people of Zimbabwe without ever stopping to think if the action he takes will add value to the country for the good of Zimbabweans.

Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>At some point I thought his promise to re-introduce the Senate was only meant to induce Zanu PF candidates who had stood as independents to withdraw their candidature in the March parliamentary elections.

Mugabe first revealed this intention when he met a female Zanu PF official who had registered for election as an independent candidate in Masvingo.

I realised Mugabe was serious with his intention to please some cronies who had lost in the primary elections when he maintained his stance after the elections.

And even surprisingly, I read that Mugabe has ordered parliament to sit earlier than scheduled in order to start debate on the constitutional amendment to reintroduce the Senate, which at some point was disbanded because it had proved a liability to the nation.

By so doing, Mugabe has proved that he doesn’t care about the economic crisis prevailing in Zimbabwe as the reintroduction of a Senate is an unplanned for expense which can be avoided.

For us Zimbabweans in the diaspora, it could have made sense if Mugabe had rushed a motion to amend the constitution to enable us to vote. We certainly need the same rights that were extended to Mozambicans in the diaspora in that country’s last election.

Why does Mugabe not learn from some of the positive developments that are happening next door? After all, the Mugabe regime was actively involved in mobilising Mozambicans resident in Zimbabwe to register and vote in that election.

We (diasporans) are a major source of foreign currency for this regime, and therefore Mugabe should really consider amending the constitution to allow us to vote in future elections.

Maybe (central bank governor) Gideon Gono, Mugabe’s economic and financial advisor, should tell him that without the foreign currency brought in by Zimbabweans in the diaspora, the country could have collapsed by now, and encourage him (Mugabe) to take the issue seriously.

Failure to respond positively, we may have to channel our foreign currency through the black market. After all, some of us failed to access Gono’s foreign currency when we left the country.

Having just joined the diaspora, I am so full of energy, and will soon start mobilising other Zimbabweans living or working outside Zimbabwe not to send their foreign currency through the official channels if they are not granted their birthright to vote through a positive amendment of the constitution.

Benjamin Chitate,


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