Zimbabweans living abroad have planned a massive protest against President Emmerson Mnangagwa, when the national leader travels to New York next month for the annual UN General Assembly session.
In a statement, protest organisers, Zimbabwe Diaspora Voices Communications said the planned demonstration by Zimbabweans in America and Canada “is against the Zimbabwe government’s abuse on human rights”.
Added the diaspora group, “The demonstration is against the Zimbabwe government’s abuse on Human Rights. Zimbabweans will also be demanding their Constitutional Right to vote for the leaders of their choice.
“The Zimbabwean military government has reneged on all promises to allow Zimbabweans in the diaspora to vote as enshrined in the constitution.
“The Constitution of Zimbabwe passed in 2013 by 93% of the Zimbabwean population gave Zimbabweans in the Diaspora a mandate to choose leaders of their choice whilst in the countries they are residing.”
Government has adamantly refused to extend franchise to Zimbabweans living abroad claiming this gives unfair advantage to opponents as a lot of Zanu PF officials seeking re-election into government offices are on a Western imposed travel ban.
Zimbabwe Diaspora Voices Communications feels the diaspora community has contributed immensely to the national economy through remittances and should, thus, not be denied the opportunity to choose leaders who would in turn administer the funds.
“Remittances by Zimbabweans in the Diaspora have inched close to US$ 1 billion annually and are the reason why Zimbabwe is still functioning albeit with the majority living below the poverty datum line,” said the group.
“The fight for the Right to Vote must be exercised in the Diaspora as a fundamental right. The Zimbabwean Diaspora will therefore be in New York on the 18th of September 2021 from 10 am eastern time to 4:00pm,” said the group.
It will not be the first time citizens in the States have staged a demonstration against a Zimbabwean incumbent.
In 2016, a group of Zimbabweans protested against then President Robert Mugabe when the late leader was also in New York for the UN summit.