Voting Rights of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora

The Constitution of Zimbabwe states that citizens who have reached the age of 18 years may vote in local and national elections. However, the Electoral Act states that only Zimbabwean citizens who are on diplomatic missions, civil servants and members of the armed forces on external missions may vote from abroad. This legal requirement effectively disenfranchises millions of Zimbabwean citizens who live and work in other countries. Why the current Zimbabwean authorities do not allow or enable their citizens to vote from abroad in Zimbabwe’s national elections is contentious, especially ahead of the 2023 general elections. This article uses the desktop approach to argue that the right to vote in one’s country of origin by citizens working and living abroad is a barometer of a nation’s deepening democratic practices, of which elections are a lynchpin. This study hopes to contribute to international human rights law. A study of voting from abroad contributes to discussions regarding the evolving and multifaceted relationship between sending states and their diaspora communities.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
Tags: Constitution of Zimbabwe, diaspora, disenfranchising, national elections, voting, Zimbabwean citizens
journal of african elections vol20 number 1 transparent democratic governance in africa