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Bulletin - Issue 04 - 2013
Young people’s future lies in participation in elections
In life, they are different kinds of people, those who watch things happen, those who want things to happen and those who make things happen. Let us not be found watching or wanting things to happen when we are capable of making them happen.
As such, this verse is going to emphasize on the importance of us, young people to ensure that our voice is heard in all strategic decision-making processes like elections that affect us.
One major aspect to note is that young people constitute about 67% of the total population. It is from this background that we need not to underestimate the positive transformation that we can collectively impact by participating in the key decision-making processes of our country.
It is high time we unleash the potential in us for the benefit of ourselves, the upcoming generation and the general populace at large.
Electoral processes give us the right, as responsible citizens of Zimbabwe, to appoint, re-appoint or disappoint our political leadership. We all have the right or fundamental entitlement to a voice in choosing our representatives through voting. This can be at local, regional or even national level. As such young people can benefit immensely through making choices that are driven by the permanent interests of the nation and putting in place a vibrant leadership that is accountable to the people it serves.
There is need to empower ourselves by totally transforming our mind-set regarding issues to do with electoral processes.
However, participating in the electoral processes involves much more than just voting. It is the potential to partake in the conduct of public affairs, to register as a candidate as well as to campaign. Nothing can stop us as progressive young people to be legislators, councilors and even ministers who are involved in the formulation and implementation of government policies.
These systems play a major role in determining the development of our dear country, including our day-to-day living standards. As such there is need for us to realize this gap and take practical approaches to participation in such issues.
In addition, it is of paramount importance for us as young people to participate in elections as they directly and indirectly affect our lives. An election can be defined as a formal decision-making process or method by which the general populace selects individuals to hold public office.
In Zimbabwe, elections are usually held after intervals of five years. This represents representative democracy as the people elected are given the authority to make decisions on behalf of the ordinary citizens.
As young people let’s not be caught on the wrong side of always attacking whoever is elected when you are not even a member of the electorate because you are not a registered voter. It does not need one to be rich, have a business or to be very educated in order to participate in the electoral processes.
All it needs is one to have a national identity card. Take this opportunity to visit the registrar general’s offices together with your national identity card, proof of residence and be a registered voter! This will enable you to command an influential stake in the electoral processes.
Many people continue to chant whilst others declare that young people are the future leaders of tomorrow, but l take it that we are leaders in our own right as the future starts with the present. As such, elections represent us with a peaceful opportunity to choose our leadership and to be leaders as well.
It is no longer time to cite violence as a hindrance, but now is the time to appreciate that unity is the acceptance of diversity, shun violence in all its forms and promote a Zimbabwe that is built on the foundations of peace, love and harmony.
Be peace ambassadors. Through this, peaceful transfer of authority through elections is possible. We have a duty and obligation to positively transform the nation. Young people must always ask themselves what they can do for the benefit of their country.
Now is the our time as young people across the country, from Zambezi to Limpopo, to be proactive in shaping our destination through making informed decisions which enable us to be participants in the electoral processes.
Participation of young people in electoral processes is of great significance to the positive and immense development of our country. As Mahatma Gandhi once stressed, “Be the change that you want to see in the world”.
Let us be the ambassadors of spreading the gospel of informed and peaceful participation of young people in key decision making process like elections.
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