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Weekly activity update
National Youth Development Trust
August 24, 2011

Bulawayo

NYDT, under its young voices in local governance project held a series of focus group meetings in Magwegwe, Luveve and Emganwini under the topic; Exploring avenues for youth participation in governance. Discussions at the meetings focused on elections, strategies for effective youth participation and how NYDT is enabling young people to register as voters. During the discussions it emerged that young people were facing a number of challenges as they try to register as voters. Such challenges include the fact that registration centres are far from where they live thus making it difficult for them to register. Others complained that they were being told that they could not register as they were already registered in other constituencies. This is despite the fact that they have never registered to vote. It was also expressed during the meetings that there is need to increase registration centers and their accessibility. Some young people said they were facing problems with their citizenship since the misinterpretation of the citizenship act by the registrar general's office has turned them into them Aliens (visit www.nydtzimbabwe.org for a critique on the Citizenship Act). During the Meeting NYDT pledged to facilitate the effective participation of young people in the electoral processs through providing transport to registration centres, lobbying the registrar general to increase registration centres, providing affidavit forms for use as proof of residence and any other relevant information on the electoral process.

Komba, Lupane

The organisation held a policy dialogue meeting in Komba Lupane on the 16th of August 2011 under the topic Strategic entry points for youth participation in local governance. The presenter at the meeting gave an overview of the importance of participating in local governance, putting everything into the context of the area. He emphasized the need for young people need to bring their leaders to account as they are there to serve them. During the meeting, the local leadership that was there, encouraged young people to go and register to vote if they want their voices to be heard.

Makhwikha, Hwange

On August 20, 2011 a Youth Peace Dialogue meeting was conducted in Hwange at Makhwikha area. Since the organisation was convening a meeting in the area for the first time, several parents also attended as they wanted to hear what the organisation has to offer their children. They declared that their area was peaceful and people are united and the organisation should tap into this if they are to achieve their goals as far as young people are concerned. Despite their declaration, it was clear that participants were afraid to express themselves openly especially on political issues. On the sidelines of the meeting, some civic activists from the area pointed out that, the people in the area have been deprived of critical information to effectively participate in public processes and most of them do not have national identity documents and cannot access easily registry offices to obtain those or to register as voters.

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