Zimbabweans in the United States and Canada said they will rally at the United Nations headquarters in New York this weekend to protest President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s human rights violations and denial of their right to vote.
Despite the fact that Mnangagwa announced last week that he will not be physically present at this year’s UN General Assembly meeting, Zimbabweans in the two countries say they will stage “one of the largest demonstrations ever by Zimbabweans there over the government’s reluctance to allow those in the diaspora to vote,”
More than five million Zimbabweans are said to be living in the diaspora, largely as economic refugees.
The Zimbabwe Diaspora Voices Communications department claimed in a statement released over the weekend that “Diasporans would descend in New York on Saturday, September 18th, 2021 at the United Nations General Assembly Session to hold the Diaspora’s largest Demonstration against the Mnangagwa dictatorship.” The protest is in response to the Zimbabwe government’s violations of human rights. Zimbabweans will also seek their constitutional right to elect their preferred leaders.”
“The fight for the right to vote as a fundamental right must be waged in the Diaspora. The Zimbabwean Diaspora will thus be in New York on September 18th, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., according to the announcement.
MDC Alliance North America Chapter Deputy Organising Secretary David Siampondo told Newzimbabwe Sunday that the absence of Mnangagwa will not affect their preparations.
“His (President Mnangagwa’s) absence isn’t a major source of concern for us. However, if he did show up, it would be a huge plus for us. Everyone is affected by the issues of Zimbabwean diasporans. Because there are many human rights violations in the country and the area as a whole, our demonstration will benefit our neighbors as well,” he stated.
“We have a problem with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) because they are the ones who are stifling citizens’ rights. When you consider what transpired in Malawi’s election, it’s a shame that SADC and the AU were the first to declare the election free and fair. “Thank God, the country’s institutions were not harmed, and the election was declared illegitimate after the courts ordered new elections,” Siampondo stated.
The Zimbabwean military administration has “reneged on all commitments to allow Zimbabweans in the diaspora to vote as enshrined in the constitution,” according to Diaspora Voices. The Zimbabwean Constitution, which was approved by 93 percent of the country’s people in 2013, allowed citizens in the diaspora the power to elect leaders in the countries where they live.
The opposition MDC Alliance recently pushed the government to enable the diaspora vote after Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube revealed that remittances from Zimbabweans living abroad have continued to rise year after year.