- Last Updated on 11 April 2013
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Tsholotsho - Voter registration is progressing at a snail's pace due to limited access to voter registration centres, the youth in Tsholotsho have said.
The youth said that there are only two voter registration centers in Tsholotsho and the majority of the people need to fork out at least US$6 to get to the nearest Registrar General's office. This is compounded by the fact that one has to travel more than once to get registered as a voter and to collect his or her registration slip.
Speaking at the Play Your Vote sports tournament organized by Youth Agenda Trust on Saturday April 6, 2013 which was held at Bulala Ngena, Tsholotsho youth leader Challenge Ndlovu said that there are no employment opportunities or income generating activities for the youth in the area and hence they cannot afford transport to get to the registration centres.
Ndlovu also lamented the neglect of the local road network which he said was contributing to the high cost of transport in the area and told over three hundred youth who had thronged the venue that it is high time for the youth to play a central role in electing competent and development minded politicians in the forthcoming polls expected later in 2013.
The youth were drawn from areas such as Malanda, Ngena, Makodola and Santamba of Ward 12 and 14. They however reiterated that they would refuse to be bullied into an election before all the necessary reforms as prescribed in the Global Political Agreement are implemented. They called for a SADC supervised election where local and foreign observers shall have unfettered access to all corners of the country particularly marginalized and violence prone areas such as Tsholotsho.
The youth also called upon the Inclusive Government and Civil Society to embark on a massive education programme on the new constitution to ensure that people get to the elections with full appreciation of the guarantees of the new charter.
"We want you (civil society) to educate us on the new constitution because we do not know much about the contents of this new document. The relevant authorities should expedite the initiation of the mobile voter registration process as there is an urgent need to increase voter registration centers as most young people cannot afford to go to Nkunzi for example to register as voters €, said Mehluli Sibanda of Nembe.
Youth Agenda Trust is conducting several campaigns on youth and elections across the country in a bid to educate young people on their constitutional right to participate in the electoral process and has also launched the Our Time Is Now campaign which seeks to rally youth to play a significant role in the final phase of the democratization of Zimbabwe - YOUTH AGENDA TRUST.