ZANU PF Registers Zimbabweans for Mozambique Elections Amid Rigging Concerns

April 26, 2024
Zanu Pf President Emmerson Mnangagwa | Report Focus News
Zanu Pf President Emmerson Mnangagwa

ZANU PF has registered thousands of Zimbabweans to participate in the Mozambique presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for October 9, 2024, The Mirror revealed. The newspaper reported that three of its reporters, working undercover, along with hundreds of other Zimbabweans, completed registration and received plastic voter’s registration cards at a registration station in Nemamwa Growth Point earlier this week. Nemamwa, situated just 25km South-east of Masvingo, hosts the registration process.

Gloria Salvador, a spokesperson for RENAMO, Mozambique’s major opposition party, acknowledged the ongoing registration and expressed concerns regarding potential vote-rigging. She stated that her party is presently conducting investigations in Zimbabwe and claimed to possess evidence supporting the allegations of manipulation.

Mozambique recently held local authority elections on October 23, which were won by the ruling party FRELIMO amidst allegations of rigging, leading to violent protests. The registration process in Nemamwa reportedly commenced on Monday, April 22, and is slated to continue until April 28. The voter registration process is marked by lengthy queues, with prospective candidates placed on waiting lists and instructed to return the following day for registration. Desks in the registration rooms bear the inscription “ZANU PF”.

VENANCIO Mondlane, RENAMO’s aspiring Presidential candidate, expressed his unavailability for comment when contacted by The Mirror, citing an ongoing video call meeting. However, subsequent attempts to reach him were unsuccessful. Samuel Jemua, a representative of FRELIMO, dismissed accusations of vote rigging, asserting that Mozambican nationals abroad are entitled to register and vote from any location worldwide.

Contrary to Zimbabwe, Mozambique permits its citizens in the diaspora to participate in elections. Zimbabweans registering to vote in Mozambique are reportedly informed that they are obtaining Mozambican IDs to facilitate unrestricted travel and commerce, while some individuals proudly declare their Zimbabwean identity and claim to have regularly participated in Mozambican elections. Plastic cards inscribed in Portuguese are issued to registrants, with many unaware that these are voter registration cards.

Efforts to obtain comments from ZANU PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa were unsuccessful. Farai Marapira, ZANU PF communications director, disavowed any involvement in what he termed an undemocratic initiative, redirecting inquiries to Mutsvangwa. The voter registration campaign extends beyond Nemamwa to other regions of Zimbabwe.

Nelson Chamisa, Zimbabwe’s main opposition figure, expressed shock but not surprise at the revelations, attributing the actions to ZANU PF and FRELIMO. He described the situation as “massive rigging” and “clear electoral manipulation.”

Douglas Mwonzora, leader of the MDC-T, who boycotted the previous presidential election citing rigging, cautioned against Zimbabwean interference in Mozambique’s internal affairs, emphasizing Mozambique’s right to self-determination.

Local resident Precious Gwangwava, who registered to vote, expressed her intention to travel to Mozambique to cast her vote, having voted in Nemanwa in 2019. Robina Mudura, originally from Dande near Mozambique, expressed support for the ruling party to facilitate cross-border trade in the coming years.

FRELIMO, the incumbent party in power since Mozambique gained independence from Portugal in 1975, has yet to announce its presidential candidate. President Filipe Nyusi, barred by the constitution from seeking a third term after serving two terms, is reportedly considering his successor, with Carlos Ismael Correia emerging as a potential candidate.