‘Young people feel voting does not help them’

Many young people in Zimbabwe feel voting does not help them and as a result, they have not bothered to register in their numbers for next year’s general elections, Zimbabwe Elections Support Network (ZESN) Matabeleland regional officer, Ndodana Ndlovu has said.

Ndlovu was speaking Friday during the Breakfast Club, an online programme hosted by CITE.

He said his discussions with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) officials had revealed that not so many young people had come up to register for the 2023 elections as had been expected.

“The reasons are many but maybe we can hazard them because we are not really sure,” said Ndlovu.

“But the major one is that youths feel voting does not in any way help them. Issues of elections have not brought any changes since 1980, elections have not brought any employment as they are coming out of colleges very educated ready for employment but nothing is coming out for them.”

He further said: “At the end of the day they become kombi touts with their Master’s Degrees and whatsoever, some even get into vending and most of them are hustling so instead of them going to register to vote something which they feel does not help them, they would rather hustle and get money so that they put food on the table.”

Ndlovu said the other reasons for low voter registration among young people were issues with historic events which have made it difficult for them to get identity documents. “You would find that they do not have identity documents,” he decried.

“You would find that a child at 16, 17 to 18 years old still does not have a birth certificate or ID. So, without those documents, one cannot register to vote. Anyway, you are not a citizen of Zimbabwe. There are actually so many reasons but most of them are issues of bread and butter.”

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