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voter registration a welcome move
National Youth Development Trust
May 02, 2013
The move by
the Registrar General’s office to introduce a thirty (30)
day mobile voter registration service is most welcome especially
to young people. This move is expected to go a long way in addressing
some of the key challenges that affect young people with regards
to voter registration. Chief amongst such challenges has been the
proximity of the nearest registration centre. This has been noted
as a hindrance to voter registration particularly given the fact
that a number of young people are unemployed, have no source of
income and therefore can barely afford transport fares to commute
to the nearest registration centre. By introducing registration
centres within their communities, the Registrar General has made
the centres more accessible to the youths and the general citizenry.
This move, together with the suspension of fines on lost identity
documents contribute immensely to young people’s ability to
participate in democratic processes.
still needs to be done to make the voter registration process easier
and more accessible to the youth majority. Proof of residence as
a voter registration requirement remains a major hindrance to their
ability to register. This is due to the fact that most young people
do not own property or have accounts that will allow them to prove
their places of residence.
a number of young people who have been termed ‘aliens’
continue to face challenges in participating in national processes
despite the declaration that they can now participate in Zimbabwean
democratic and other processes. This is due to the fact that they
need to pay the registry office up to US$40 in order to change their
ID. The amount required by registry in this case acts as a deterring
factor to the unemployed youths.
In light of
the issues noted above the National Youth Development Trust therefore
calls for the relaxation of the restrictive requirement of proof
of residence by accepting a variety of forms of documentation that
could serve as proof of residence. Additionally, the US$40 fee required
to change identity cards for ‘non-Zimbabweans’ should
be revoked to allow them to register and vote in the next elections.
Visit the National
Youth Development Trust fact
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