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Zimbabwean Youth In Voting-Rights Protest At Harare's Pretoria Embassy

About 200 young Zimbabwean activists demonstrated at the Zimbabwean Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa, Tuesday to demand the right for Zimbabwean expatriates to cast ballots in presidential, general and local elections set for March 29.

The protest was organized by the Zimbabwe Revolutionary Youth Movement, a South African based group of young Zimbabwean emigrés. The protesters marched to the Zimbabwean Embassy carrying banners and singing songs dating from the black Zimbabwean struggle in 1980s Rhodesia to bring about majority rule.

The demonstrators tried to hand a petition to Zimbabwean Ambassador Simon Moyo. But sources among the demonstrators said Moyo declined to accept it and remained at a distance standing outside the embassy accompanied by security guards.

The petition demanded that Zimbabweans residing outside the country be allowed to vote in the elections to be held in nine weeks. It also demanded, as the opposition has urged, that a new constitution be adopted before the next elections are held.

Secretary General John Chikwari of the Zimbabwe Revolutionary Youth Movement told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that his group will keep organizing such demonstrations at the embassy to press those demands.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...