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Survey: Zimbabwe Youth Itching to Vote in 2013 Elections

  • Irwin  Chifera

A Mass Public Opinion Institute survey says a large number of youths in the country have registered and shown willingness to participate in this year’s elections.

Results of a survey in which 1,008 youths drawn from all the country’s provinces were sampled shows that 64 percent of the respondents are looking forward to vote in the harmonised elections with 50 percent already on the voters’ roll.

The survey, conducted between 19 and 28 January this year, shows that Mashonaland Central had the highest number of registered youths, at 70 percent, followed by Masvingo at 57 percent. Bulawayo is the lowest at 19 percent.

Announcing the results Thursday, Mass Public Opinion researcher, Heather Koga, said more than three quarters of the respondents were aware of the requirements needed for voter registration.

MDC-T Youth Assembly secretary general, Promise Mkwananzi, welcomed the results but said the statistics could be higher now following what he says was a massive campaign by his political party and civil society encouraging youths to register to vote.

Unemployment, according to the survey, remains the biggest issue affecting the youths.

Mkwananzi said unemployment is the major reasons most youth from areas like Bulawayo are leaving the country in search of opportunities.

Harare youth and registered voter, Julius Chibaya, said democratic polls will bring jobs to the youths.

Other findings of the survey are that more than half of the respondents in urban areas want the president to be accountable to parliament compared to 46 percent in rural arrears.

Most of the youths said they did not like political violence. About 43 percent of the respondents said their family members or close friends had been victims of political violence.

The survey was meant to gauge youth participation in the country’s political processes. Political parties and civil society organizations this year went on a massive drive urging women and youth to register to vote.

Previous elections have seen a low number of youths participating.
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