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A day when all eligible youths goes to vote
Achieve Your Goal Trust (AYGT)
November 16, 2007

The SADC principles and guidelines require all citizens to be given the right to participate in the political process and an equal opportunity to vote. Participation of women disabled persons and youths must be encouraged.

Despite the rights as enshrined in these guidelines a number of anomalies still exists that perverts of holding of free and fair elections in Zimbabwe. These anomalies then account to voter disfranchisement, voter apathy and voter disillusionment. Among these anomalies are the following :

a. Unequal opportunity for political parties to access the state media
b. Partisian judiciary and partiality of the electoral institution
c. Two draconian pieces of legislation POSA and AIPPA.These two pieces have automatically overshadowed some of the rights such as -freedom of expression ,freedom of association etc.
d. Limited participation of the citizens in the electoral process
e. Political intolence
f. Lack of voter education

Given the above infringements to the holding of free and fair elections in Zimbabwe the general feeling among the electorate is that elections in African countries especially in Zimbabwe will never bring about the regime change. To substantiate on their claims are the fact that since 1999, when the opposition party was formed all elections were marred by incidents of massive voter rigging, politically motivated violence and in some cases the violence led to demise of a number of innocent civilians. Immediately names like Tichaona Mabika and Talent Chiminya comes to mind. The two were murdered in a cold blood incident. Their only crime was that they were on the campaigning team of the opposition party.

Following legitimate means, the only democratic way onto which the citizens of a country can choose how they want to be governed and by whom is through the electoral process. Failure to participate in the elections will mean prolonged economic crisis for there is a twin relationship between political atmosphere and economic climate. Failure to vote can also mean that we are all happy with the status quo or Zimbabweans have developed a tendency to leave their life to fate.

Taking a statistical analysis of the total population, the youths (16 to 35 years) constitute 62 %. If say the 62 % goes to vote and vote for positive economic transformation (which is most likely the case given a plethora of problems such as sky rocking inflation, unemployment, shortage of basic commodities, ever increasing cost of education, poor service delivery, shortages of drugs in clinics and hospitals, shrinking and under performing economy then we can talk of regime change. If 62% are the youths then 38% are the adults, whether these adults vote for regime change or not, the youths are so numerous that they outnumber the adults. In such a scenario what it will then imply is that the youths

Contrary to the above a number of youths in the country have surrendered their lives to fate. Some could not dare to dream or even hope for a better life. They think that somebody, somewhere, be it a god or a person, is in charge of their destiny or is blocking them from achieving what they think they deserve. Anyone who resigns from life while still living, has come to the wrong conclusion too early .To lose hope is to lose a strategic asset and to live an empty life.

As a way forward AYGT is therefore calling all the youths to become ambassadors of social, economic and political transformation. The youths should be a vehicle unto which regime change should be effected and made possible .The time is up that there should be programs meant for the youths such as voter education, human rights and democracy issues. A platform should be created that the youths should come together now and then to reflect much on ways to spread the gospel of voting to the less privileged and marginalized members of the community.

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