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Zimbabwe Youth Forum Aims to Register One Million Voters Aged 18-30

  • Tatenda Gumbo

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network says only 18 percent of those on the voters roll can be classified as youth - that is from 18 to 30 years of age - whereas experts say 60 percent of the population is under 35

The Zimbabwe Youth Forum says it is launching a campaign that aims to add 1 million young people to the national voters roll before the next elections.

The group says it decided to launch the campaign after finding serious barriers to voter registration by young Zimbabweans. It is urging the government to be sensitive to the plight of young Zimbabweans frustrated in their quest to exercise their franchise.

The Youth Forum said many youths in rural areas and and mining zones have found it hard to register because they lack proof of residence. Youths complained that traditional chiefs and headmen have been obstructing their efforts to obtain such proof.

Research by the Youth Forum found that even when youths could provide all required identification, bureaucrats turned them away saying no elections were scheduled.

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network said last year that only 18 percent of those on the present voters roll could be classified as youth - that is from 18 to 30 years of age - whereas experts say 60 percent of the population is under 35 years of age.

Youth Forum Projects Coordinator Wellington Zindove told VOA reporter Tatenda Gumbo that such hurdles to registration by the young reflect the deliberate marginalization of a potentially powerful segment of the Zimbabwean electorate

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