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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Promote people-centered policies and political programmes and not violence: youth told
    Youth Forum
    June 13, 2013

    The main challenge to the youth in pre and post electoral period is the fermentation of violence. Young people are either coerced into taking part in political violence or they become victims of it. Zanu-PF has had a manipulative stronghold on the Zimbabwean youth in the past couple of decades; recruiting young people to arrest all the winds of change and to sabotage activities by the pro-democracy movement so as to cling on to power. The youth have been lured through inducements to commit brazen acts of violence before, during and after elections.

    The rampant unemployment and abstract poverty in Zimbabwe has left young people exposed mostly as victims of politically motivated violence. As a result the youth continue to be recruited using food and other short term supplies.

    As the country slowly marches towards the next plebiscite expected by July 31, we call upon the Zimbabwean youth to desist from being used as proponents of political violence but rather become active advocates of policy development within their political parties. The youth should strive to influence policies and political programmes which enhance the marketability of their political parties through dialogue with; and education of the electorate on their party programmes and policies rather than violence. Parties with nothing to offer will easily resort to violence.

    The Youth Forum seriously urges young people in the country to go through all the contesting political parties’ election manifestos before committing the pen to the ballot. This will ensure that they are able to vote for a party which promises to act on their challenges. We realize if political processes are driven by what parties are offering to the electorate and the electorate is aware of this then incidences of violence will be drastically reduced in the run up to the polls.

    The Youth Forum also hopes that the on-going pontification against political violence by the country‘s political protagonists will translate into peace towards, during and after elections.

    Meanwhile, we note with great concern that the so called intensive mobile voter registration exercise is not living to its billing as it has failed to take place at the ward level as initially anticipated. This exercise is now taking place at district level where teams from the registrar general randomly select a few wards to visit per district. This development is contrary to assurances given to the nation by the ZEC chairperson Justice Rita Makarau. This sad development is mostly affecting young people in rural areas who carry on facing the burden of forking out large sums of money to reach the nearest registration points. This development stands clearly as an affront to a credible poll.

    We, however, persist to exhort the youth to brave these man-made barriers and get registered as voters during the on-going mobile registration exercise.

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