In Ottawa, Sell, Mombasa, or Sydney, the perpetual violation of fundamental constitutional liberties by ZANU PF will always haunt you. Your right to vote is denied because you are in the diaspora. ZANU PF cannot tolerate a diaspora vote, which tends to support the opposition and represents a politically informed constituency distinct from the usual native political apathy. Ironically, ZANU PF welcomes remittances from the same diaspora, as they provide an avenue for rent-seeking and patronage, all while threatening its entrenched hold on power.

If the diaspora vote had been realized in the last election, adding to the two million votes garnered by the charismatic and people’s choice leader, Nelson Chamisa, ZANU PF could have lost its grip on power, which it has maintained for three decades. This would have ushered in a restoration of the rule of law, equality before the law, transparency, and accountability, potentially leading to the imprisonment of corrupt politicians who had illicitly enriched themselves. ZANU PF was determined to avoid this scenario at all costs.

To protect itself against the combined power of the opposition, supported by both local and diaspora votes, ZANU PF excluded the diaspora on grounds of technicalities like security and funding, disregarding international funders’ interest in supporting the crucial diaspora vote. This sidelining exposed ZANU PF’s insecurities and fears.

Remittances reveal ZANU PF’s hypocrisy, incompetence, and failure. Immigrants from Zimbabwe leave in desperation, driven by the lack of economic opportunities and political marginalization by ZANU PF. These remittances highlight a dependent native population relying on income from abroad, earned by individuals frustrated with ZANU PF’s policies that hinder economic growth and discourage investment.

The diaspora is a politically frustrated and informed constituency, advocating for civilian engagement, transparency, and accountability. ZANU PF fears this diaspora force and seeks to block the diaspora vote despite its reliance on remittances for survival.

But how does ZANU PF benefit from these remittances? In an economy plagued by runaway inflation and a high cost of living driven by profiteering, ZANU PF maintains control by pacifying the population with remittances in stable hard currencies like Rands, US dollars, pounds, and Euros. This pacification keeps the population in political apathy mode, ensuring that ZANU PF can continue exploiting the country’s resources, securing its power in the process.

Moreover, ZANU PF has a stronghold in various sectors, such as public transport and the fuel industry, where services and products are sold in foreign currency. To maintain this grip, ZANU PF relies on taking a significant portion of the remittances, which are then used to buy gold illegally and smuggled for more foreign currency. This illicit money supports further political financing, allowing cartels to flourish and keeping ZANU PF in power.

The diaspora, though often unaware of the impact of their remittances, can change how ZANU PF benefits. They can utilize decentralized finance and cryptocurrencies to circumvent ZANU PF’s access to precious foreign currency. Encouraging financial literacy and self-sufficient systems can limit the influence of cartels, and strategic investments in various sectors can disrupt the cartels’ operations. Without a diaspora vote, strategic diaspora initiatives can weaken ZANU PF through attrition.

This article underscores that ZANU PF benefits from the diaspora in multiple ways, whether through the exodus of politically informed individuals or the insulation of the native population against inflation. However, the diaspora can strategically contribute to ZANU PF’s ultimate downfall by promoting change and alternative governance.

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