There are fears the deportees might tilt the scales in favour of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in the fresh presidential and harmonised elections President Mugabe wants held in March 2012.
Sources said Zanu (PF) wanted the deportations halted as the MDC-T has launched a campaign to registered at least three million new voters, adding that Kembo Mohadi, the Zanu (PF) co-Minister of Home Affairs, has been directed to “talk” to his South Africa counterparts.
Mohadi refused to discuss the issue when contacted for comment.
But Zanu (PF) National chairperson, Simon Khaya Moyo, claimed the deportations had not resumed despite reports that nearly 400 people without relevant documentations were last week flushed out of South Africa.
“There are no deportations that have yet started, because there is no movement of people that we have seen on the ground. Once that happens then as Zanu (PF) we will be in a position to comment on the matter,” said Moyo.
Of the 1,5 million Zimbabweans estimated to be domiciled in South African as political and economic refugees, only under 300 000 applications had been received through Zimbabwe Documentation Project, a mere 20% of the estimated nationals thought to be living in South Africa by Human Rights Watch.
Zanu (PF)is also said to be vehemently against allowing people in the Diaspora to vote in the next polls. Trevor Maisiri, a political commentator, said Zanu (PF) had every reason to be wary of the both the deportations and the Diaspora vote.
Maisiri said the Diaspora vote, if given an opportunity would most likely be like a “protest” vote.
“Many of the people in the Diaspora are not there because of their willingness. Many have ran away due to both economic and political pressures back home. Therefore if given the opportunity to vote, this is likely to be more damaging to ZANU-PF than the MDC parties.
Zanu (PF’s) dominance in government since independence is therefore considered as having the greatest responsibility for those factors that have led many into the Diaspora. The Diaspora vote will therefore be cast as a protest vote against ZANU-PF,” he said.
Maisiri said the pending deportations of Zimbabweans from South Africa would also have similar effects as the broader Diaspora vote.
“If these deportations go ahead then we are expecting an estimated 1.5 million people to come back into the country. This will put a strain on the already struggling social support systems. These people will likely be frustrated as they will not be able to access adequate social support systems and they are likely to be the plug-shot for dissent and protests against the government.
“Such protests will hurt Zanu (PF) more as the party is seen as the dominant force in the current government and in previous governments since independence. The deportees will also likely be motivated to register as voters and their vote will most likely go against Zanu (PF) in the next election.
The figure of 1.5 million is very sizeable considering that there was a total figure of about 2.5 million voters. This then therefore constitutes about 60% of the votes casts in the March 2008 election.
The deportees, who are mainly above the age of 18 years, are therefore likely to cause massive shifts in the voting patterns much against Zanu (PF),” he said.
President Mugabe is expected to meet his nemesis Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in the next presidential polls intimated for 2012.