Umzingwane villagers in ward 7 Nswazi have said failure to secure national identification documents by their children is a violation of their right to vote.
A national identity document is a requirement for one to register as a voter.
This came out of a discussion on voter registration among women in rural areas during a round table meeting conducted by the Center for Innovation and Technology (CITE).
Speaking during the meeting, Nolwazi Nsikelelo said most of the children in rural areas were affected by Gukurahundi and they can’t access national documents.
“Our children do not have birth certificates, most of them were affected by Gukurahundi and they were left with no one to assist them to obtain these documents,” said Nsikelelo.
She said most children have failed to secure the documents at the Gwanda registry office.
Nsikelelo said their fear is that they won’t be able to vote in 2023 as they do not have birth certificates and national IDs.
“I am surprised that ZEC is conducting voter registration without representatives from the registry office to issue Identity documents to eligible youths,” she said.
Another villager Xolani Moyo said their children’s right to vote has been taken away from them.
“Our children no longer have their right to vote because they cannot acquire national documents,” said Moyo.
Nomsa Mleya also weighed in saying corruption at the registry offices is a major deterrent as most youths from their area do not have money to pay.
Meanwhile, ward 7 Councilor Martin Moyo urged parents to take their children to register to vote.
“My plea is for parents to take their unregistered children to go register to vote. The registration is being conducted at Nswazi primary school on Friday and Saturday,” said Cllr Moyo.
He said if Matabeleland South loses constituencies during the delimitation process it will stifle development.