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National Youth Development Trust
August 24, 2011
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.
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.
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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