By Mlondolozi Ndlovu
Recent revelations by the Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede that government intends to scrap dual citizenship from the country’s laws is a ploy to both disenfranchise Diaspora voters and to rig the 2018 elections, a civil rights group has said.
Mudede was quoted on state media as telling a Zanu PF parliamentary caucus that government will not align the Citizenship Act with the new Constitution.
The RG said these were attempts to deal with the challenges of tax evasion, human trafficking and other ills associated with international crimes.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) said the Registrar General should respect the country’s supreme law.
The group said Mudede’s utterances were not only an attack on the constitution but a ploy by Zanu PF to rig the 2018 polls.
“We view the utterances by the Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede as part of a bigger ploy to disenfranchise Zimbabweans living in the diaspora as we head towards the watershed 2018 elections,” said CiZC in a statement.
With the nearing watershed polls, the NGO coalition highlighted that there was likelihood that Mudede’s statement was a clear demonstration that the government is in plans to disenfranchise the diaspora voters.
“CiZC is appalled by such undemocratic and discriminatory tendencies by government considering that the new Constitution is a new document which was an outcome of extensive input of the majority including Zimbabweans living in the diaspora,” said the group.
Millions of Zimbabweans living in foreign countries have in the past elections failed to vote despite their significant contribution to the economy but the CiZC noted it was high time their contribution was respected.
“It is imperative for the government to note that the majority of its citizens are residing globally in countries such as South Africa, Namibia, Botswana Australia, USA and the United Kingdom among others and they are now holders of dual citizenship. However, these nationals have remained Zimbabweans remitting close to US$2billion annually,” CiZC said.
CiZC urged the government to shift its focus towards the alignment of the constitutions to improve the country’s levels of democracy.
“CiZC urges the government to expend its energies on aligning legislation to the constitution and immediately abandon all intentions to amend the constitution barely 4 years after its adoption.
“Our collective view is that the proposed amendment to Chapter 3 of the Constitution is in similar fashion with the proposed Constitution Amendment Bill No.1 of 2017 which seeks at the rebirth of the Lancaster House Constitution and its undemocratic tenets.” Radio VOP