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ZimPride urges young Zimbabweans to register to vote in elections

ZimPride urges young Zimbabweans to register to vote in elections

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

By Tichaona Sibanda
06 July 2012

ZimPride, a new election awareness and advocacy group targeting the youth, 
is urging young people to have their voice heard and register to vote in the 
next harmonized election.

John Vincent Chikwari, director of the group, told SW Radio Africa’s 
Election Watch program that a study they conducted recently found that a 
high percentage of 18-25 year-olds were not registered to vote.

‘Not being on the voter’s roll is a key reason why young people are unable 
to vote, with many not even aware they have to register.

‘We sampled voters’ rolls in Chitungwiza, Chiredzi and Masvingo and there is 
some worrying information which shows young people and those from 
politically charged areas are least likely to be registered to vote,’ 
Chikwari said.

He also urged a number of young people who have moved away from where they 
are registered to vote, to change their voting registration to their current 
residence.

It is estimated that out of a population of about 12 million people in 
Zimbabwe, five million of them are between the ages 18 and 35.

‘Our study showed us that there were impressive figures of people in that 
range not registered at all. In the past a lack of faith in the political 
system has marginalized the youth vote and frustrated youth have often been 
manipulated to participate in electoral violence.

‘As ZimPride, we want to change that. We strongly encourage young people to 
register and to go out and vote in the next poll. It is their democratic 
right and a great opportunity to have their say in how they shape the future 
of this country,’ Chikwari added.

He continued: ‘It’s high time we do away with the perception that young 
people are often complacent and apathetic to issues of governance. Bad 
leaders are elected by those who never vote.’

Chikwari pointed to numerous times in the past 18 months when the courage of 
young people has changed the balance of power in some countries, adding that 
ZimPride aims to push Zimbabwean youth to get their ID cards, and educate 
them on the importance of registering and voting.

‘Through media, social websites and our own website we want to encourage the 
youth and inform them what their votes can do for them, because throughout 
history we have witnessed cases where one vote has indeed changed the course 
of history,’ he said. 

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