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Unfulfilled election promises frustrate Zimbabwe youths

by Staff reporter
13 May 2023 at 19:11hrs | Views
SOME youths in Bulawayo doubt that elections will better their lives, citing failed promises by politicians and the government over the years.

A survey by Southern Eye Weekender showed that there is general disinterest in the upcoming elections among the youth in the city.

Joseph Sibanda, a youth from Nkulumane, said he did not even register to vote.

 "Given a chance, I will not even consider registering to vote. People have been voting for years now but what has changed? Nothing has changed, so whether we vote or not, nothing will change the situation in Zimbabwe," Sibanda said.

Melisa Siziba said election rigging was a turn-off.

"The truth is that leaders in Zimbabwe always disappoint us in terms of service delivery and the worst part is that no matter how much we vote, they never go out of power. They would rather kill us to remain in power," Siziba said.

"Take the late former President, Robert Mugabe, he was in power for 37 years but never improved the situation in Zimbabwe. Rather he gave land and property to his children when he was alive, instead of fixing the country."

Sandisiwe Nyathi said: "We have learnt to hustle and we no longer care about voting for change. There is nothing like voting for change in Zimbabwe because the ruling party Zanu-PF always rigs, so it is hard to trust the process anymore."

 Zanu-PF Bulawayo provincial spokesperson Archibold Chiponda said:"The reason they do not want to vote is because the youth are concentrating on urban areas which are being run poorlyby the opposition party, unfortunately, as for the mechanism the ruling party has put in place to try and increase youth participation."

"If you look at the messages Zanu-PF is pushing right now, such as drug abuse, these are some of the behaviours that promote apathy in youth, when someone is abusing drugs then they do not have time to vote."

CCC Bulawayo spokesperson, Swithern Chirowodza, said he was out of office when contacted for comment. He promised to respond.

The youth represent over 60% of the country's population and about 44% of the total voters.

In 2018, about 43% of the registered voters were 35 years and below, meaning the youth vote played a decisive role in the poll outcome.

Mbuso Fuzwayo, a Bulawayo-based commentator, said lack of interest in electoral processes by the youth results from lack of civic education on elections.

"The other reason is the issue of civic education; it is usually done towards elections. The whole idea is not to wait for every five years to talk about elections but to also link elections to service delivery, national development, and explain what not registering to vote means," Fuzwayo said.

Another commentator Effie Ncube added:  "It is important that the government conducts itself in a way that will give young people the reason to want to vote. Without that, they will not be participating for a long time.

"They are disappointed, disappointed by the politics that is not responding to their bread and butter priorities."

Source - Southern Eye