8 September 2023
On Friday, several groups of Zimbabweans living in South Africa marched in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town, demanding the recent general elections in Zimbabwe be declared null and void.
Advocate Talent Rusere, from Progressive Zimbabweans in South Africa, led the march from the Union Buildings to the Zimbabwean embassy Pretoria.
The protesters chanted, “We just want to go home” and “Ramaphosa must stop interfering with Zimbabwean politics” outside the embassy. There was a heavy police presence.
“We were forced to march today following the sham elections that happened in Zimbabwe,” said Rusere.
“The electoral commission in Zimbabwe is captured and partisan,” he said.
There was also no diaspora vote allowed, he said.
In the election, Emmerson Mnangwagwa secured a second term as president. The other main contender, Nelson Chamisa, received 44% officially.
On Thursday, Daily Maverick reported that the Southern African Development Community took a view that the elections fell short of what is required by the Zimbabwean constitution.
“We don’t consider the prevailing government as legitimate. We want new and clean elections that will be about the people,” said Rusere.
“Cyril Ramaphosa went to Zimbabwe to congratulate an illegitimate government, and yet we have South African politicians wanting us out of this country,” said Rusere.
Patricia Chivongodze, who works as a domestic worker in Eersterust and has been in South Africa for 10 years, said she joined the march, because “we are being silenced by the gun in Zimbabwe”.
“We are tired of staying in a foreign land. We want to go back home now … We want Zimbabwe to become a conducive environment, before we can go there. The conditions in Zimbabwe are inhumane,” she said.
Another protester, who wished to remain anonymous, had gone home to vote in the election. He said, “I came here because Zimbabwe is unbearable.”
He intends to now bring his children to join him in South Africa.
“I can’t let my kids stay under the circumstances back home,” he said.