Youths call for more registration centres

The youths of Entumbane suburb in Bulawayo have demanded that the Registrar General’s office open more registration centres to enable them to obtain identity documents and to register as voters ahead of the referendum and impending general elections in Zimbabwe.

This was said at a focus Group Meeting organized by NYDT on youth participation in elections. The meeting was called in view of the possibility of elections and or constitutional referendum to be held in Zimbabwe. NYDT and other stakeholders face the daunting task of encouraging youths to register to vote and to participate in national processes where they have been previously marginalized or simply shunned to participate.

"Register us so we can Vote" : Youths

The enraged youths called on the Registry offices to increase their accessibility and mobile registration centres. They also threatened to take the Registrar General’s office to task over the deprivation of their right to identity particulars and right to participate in national processes. There are allegedly three registration centres where youth can obtain registration documents and register as voters, that is in the city centre Registry Offices, in Nketa, Pumula surbubs . These centres have been poorly advertised and have been pathetic in servicing the youth constituency who also do not have resources to commute to these centres to register.

Lack of identity particulars, non-registration, poor voter education and other factors have resulted in minimal youth participation in elections in the past.  NYDT shall continue to provide democratic platforms for Zimbabwean youths to engage and contribute meaningfully towards national processes.

…as they engage in community development

Meanwhile, youths in the same suburb of Entumbane have positively engaged in community development projects that have seen those filling potholes in the area with tar with assistance from the business people in the area. They managed to cover a 300metres that passes near Tashas Supermarket. This project was spearheaded by Kassim Kamwendo  a Youth Councilor under the Bulawayo Youth Council initiative. This is a project under NYDT which seeks to empower young people to take part in local governance and press for quality service delivery and democracy in Zimbabwe.

The project has been hailed a success and they are looking forward into embarking on a refuse removal exercise where an undesignated dumping site has been emerged within the residential area, posing serious a health hazard. Service delivery in Zimbabwe has been poor for over a decade as a result of the economic melt-down, lack of accountability and other causes. Although the city council has started to repair some damaged roads and to collect refuse, there are still service delivery gaps.

Youth Councillors help residents at sidojiwe clean up their environment

NYDT, through such platforms including its partnership with the Bulawayo City Council and the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association which saw the repair of refuse collection vehicles and a township clean-up series and other initiatives has continuously engaged and fostered a culture of responsibility among youths. The organization shall continue to empower youths to claim their right and exercise their responsibilities in local and national governance.

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