10 October 2012

Zimbabwe: Constitution Q & A Launched By Diaspora Groups

The South African wing of the MDC-T, and the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum, have launched an online initiative encouraging Zimbabweans to ask questions about the draft constitution.

The MDC-T SA launched the initiative last week, seeking to answer any questions Zimbabweans might have regarding the contents of the draft charter. The answers will be provided by legal experts including ZEF leader Gabriel Shumba.

Kumbi Muchemwa, the spokesperson for the MDC-T SA told SW Radio Africa that they identified the need to launch an online platform after conducting face to face meetings about the constitution with Zimbabwean communities in South Africa. He said that having the Q&A online means a larger audience of Zimbabweans can be reached.

He explained that the initiative, launched last Thursday, has so far been received well and questions are beginning to pour in. Zimbabweans with online access are being encouraged to send in whatever questions they have about the draft constitution to the MDC-T SA by emailing info@mdcsa.co.za, or on Facebook and Twitter .

Muchemwa explained that the majority of questions so far have been centred on concerns about dual citizenship. Another key concern has been about the voting rights of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, a right that is not guaranteed in the draft.

"We had been hoping the draft would allow us to vote, but again we have been disappointed. We don't see why citizens in the Diaspora cannot participate. It is out greatest disappointment. We don't want to be standing on sidelines. Some of us can go, but it shouldn't be an expense to decide fate of your country," Muchemwa said.

A date for the constitutional referendum has not yet been set, with the 2nd All Stakeholders Conference only set to get underway from October 21 to 23. But there are no plans to include the Diaspora in the referendum, unless citizens make their way back home.

Muchemwa said it would be a "good idea" for Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to be given a chance to vote in the referendum, from the countries they are in, saying it should be a responsibility of the government. But he said that ZANU PF "insincerity" and corruption was standing in the way.

"How do we accept that the Zimbabwe government cannot finance our vote in the Diaspora when there are funds, when we know there is money that is not being remitted (by ZANU PF). This is insincerity on part of ZANU PF," Muchemwa said.

More on the Q&A series, and the latest answers, can be found on the MDC-T SA website.

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