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Youth Demand Improved Voter Registration Processes

  • Tatenda Gumbo

The Zimbabwe Youth Agenda Trust says it is concerned about the limited access and assistance of local registrar’s offices for youth to register to vote.

The Trust is conducting several campaigns on youth and elections across the country under the banner “It’s Our Time Now,” saying government has not provided young people enough access to participate in the electoral process.

The Trust said in areas like Tsholotsho, Matabeleland North, there are only two voter registration centers, and area residents have to pay excessive travel fees and often find themselves turned away by officials for lack of documents.

In a program called Play Your Vote, a sports tournament recently held in the area, the Tsholotsho youth leader Challenge Ndlovu said youth complained of lack of employment opportunities or income generating activities leaving without funds to travel to registration centers.

Complaints by youth in rural areas in Matabeleland North and South have been voiced before, but youth in urban centers like Bulawayo and Harare face similar issues.

Youth Aagenda Trust program officer Lawrence Mashungu told VOA the organization has continued to push for government to improve the situation with few results so far.

Common issues affecting youth include dealing with registration officials.

Many youth said they are generally turned away from registering due to lack of documents, though they furnish required documents.

Mashungu said many youth are asked to provide documents that are required to be taken from national offices.
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