A group comprising so-called aliens or people whose parents came from countries like Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique, and by law are now allowed to take Zimbabwean citizenship, on Friday protested outside the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) headquarters demanding their right to vote in the July 31 elections.
More than 100 aliens staged the peaceful demonstration outside the ZEC offices demanding a special exercise to have their names added onto the voters’ roll.
They claimed that officers from the Registrar General’s Office made it difficult for them to register in time for the July 31 vote. They charge there’s still time if ZEC is willing to accommodate them.
The protesters carried placards some of which read: “Everyone must be allowed in a credible election”.
One of the demonstrators, Kimberley Nyatsanga, said he is disappointed that he will not be able to vote in the forthcoming polls.
Nyatsanga added that they could not meet the ZEC commissioners after security details locked all the gates.
He said that during the mobile voter registration exercise that ended Tuesday, many of them were ordered by the Registrar General’s department to renounce their foreign citizenship but the process took so long that they could not register to vote in this year’s crucial elections.
Another demonstrator, Clemence Phiri, who is of Malawian descent, said he is disappointed that he will not be able to vote this year. He said his failure to vote will affect his future.
Studio 7 failed to get a comment from ZEC chairperson Rita Makarau who said she was in a meeting.
Aliens now enjoy all the rights enjoyed by ordinary Zimbabweans following the adoption of the new constitution.