The United Kingdom Parliament has urged the Zimbabwean Government to ensure that all eligible citizens based in the diaspora are allowed to vote in elections.
This follows petitions filed by Zimbabweans based in the diaspora, including by former Ntabazinduna Chief, Felix Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni, requesting to vote in the country’s elections from their host countries.
The issue of the Zimbabwe diaspora vote was raised in the UK parliament by a current member of the House of Lords, the Baroness Lister of Burtersett CBE, Ruth Margot Aline Lister.
The question for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, UIN HL5134, was tabled on 5 January 2022. She said:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking, if any, in response to the petition highlighting the disenfranchisement of around five million Zimbabweans in the diaspora, which was presented at 10 Downing Street by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Organisation on 2 December 2021.
In response on January 13, 2022, the Right Hon. The Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park, Zac Goldsmith, said:
We are aware of the petition submitted by the groups MyRight2Vote, Zimbabwe Human Rights Organisation, and the Restoration of Human Rights Zimbabwe.
The onus is on the Government of Zimbabwe to ensure that all citizens have the ability to vote in line with the constitution, Section 67 of which states, ‘Every Zimbabwean citizen above 18 years has the right to vote secretly in elections.’
However, the UK continues to urge the Zimbabwean Government to fulfil its own constitution and its commitments to reform electoral laws.