Diaspora to contribute to Constitution making – Mwonzora

In an exclusive interview, Mwonzora said a website will also be set up to enable Zimbabweans to make contributions to the process, which is key to holding free and fair elections in the country.

"One does not cease to be Zimbabwean because he or she is living in the Diaspora," he said. "As the select committee responsible for the writing of the constitution we are going to engage those in the Diaspora in this process. Principals of the Inclusive Government have no business in this issue because they are bound by the GPA, which says every Zimbabwean must participate in the process, and we can not  ignore more than 4 million people who are in the Diaspora."

"We have  talked to different  organizations representing Zimbabweans in the Diaspora who have promised to fund international trips for the …committee to visit their areas and make some consultations. We have  also contracted  a  private Information Technology company to create a Website…”

Mwonzora said it was not true that all Zimbabweans in the diaspora supported the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) as most were economic refugees.

Founder and International coordinator for the Zimbabwe Bird, a network of  Zimbabweans living  in the Diaspora, based  in the Netherlands, Stephen Matenga, said Zimbabweans  living in the Diaspora should  be consulted.

"From the net work we realized that  there  are  more than 4 million Zimbabweans who  are  in the  Diaspora …for several  reasons, and  we  believe the country should not ignore them."

Some political analysts say the Inclusive Government is encouraging Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to invest in the country but is silent on their inclusion in participating in politics or giving them assurance that if they return they would not be prosecuted.

During his tour to western countries on a bridge building mission last year, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was booed by exiled Zimbabweans in UK after he told them to come back to Zimbabwe.