Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has strongly urged Zimbabweans living in South Africa to make the trip back home and participate in the presidential and parliamentary elections set for August 23.
“We call on all Zimbabweans who are here in South Africa to go back home and vote. If it means coming back, they can come back, they are more than welcome, but they must do the right thing and go and vote,” Malema said addressing journalists in Johannesburg.
“No-one is going to fight for these Zimbabweans who are loitering the streets here. They are their own liberators. For once, they must take responsibility and get into buses and go home and vote.
“Zimbabweans are called upon to go home and vote, and stop blaming other people for their own misfortunes which they have got solutions to. That solution is August 23, 2023 where they will vote for a government of their choice which will restore peace in that beautiful country,” he said.
The former African National Congress Youth League president said his party is willing to assist the Zimbabweans with transport.
“If they need help to go and vote, they must approach the EFF offices. We will be more than happy to rent buses for them to go home and vote,” he said.
The EFF has wished Zimbabwe well, as the neighbouring country gears for the tightly contested national elections in which President Emmerson Mnangagwa who rose to power in 2017, is seeking a second, five-year term mandate from Zimbabweans.
“The elections mark a critical opportunity for the people of Zimbabwe to elect a government of their choice to uplift the nation from the poverty that defines what was once known as the bread basket of Africa.
“We call on the incumbent Zanu PF to resist the urge to practice violence against its political opponents, and any form of intimidation of citizens to coerce their vote.
“Zimbabwe needs to enter an era of political tolerance that is not defined by the history of violence and suppression, but the possibility of peace, prosperity and continental unity,” Malema said.
A total of 11 presidential candidates have thrown their hats in the ring, including the incumbent President Mnangagwa representing the ruling Zanu PF; his main nemesis Nelson Chamisa of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC); former cabinet minister Saviour Kasukuwere campaigning as an independent candidate; Joseph Busha of the Free Zim Congress; Trust Chikohora of Zimbabwe Coalition for Peace and Development (ZCPD).
Other candidates include Harry Peter Wilson, leader of the Democratic Official Party; Lovemore Madhuku of National Constitutional Assembly party; Douglas Mwonzora of the Movement for Democratic Change; Wilbert Mubaiwa of National People’s Congress (NPC); Gwinyai Henry Muzorewa of the United African National Council (UANC); and Blessing Kasiyamhuru of Zimbabwe Partnership for Prosperity (ZIPP).