THE findings of a recent survey by the Afrobarometer are not only startling, but worrying that most of the country’s youth were likely not going to cast ballots in next year’s much anticipated harmonised elections.
According to the survey by Afrobarometer, a pan-African research institute, 54 percent of Zimbabweans aged between 18-35 years were likely not to register as voters for next year’s polls.

This should be a matter of serious concern among the country’s political leaders. Several questions have to be asked and solutions found to reverse the status quo.

Is it that the youth, who constitute the majority of the country’s population, have completely lost interest in political developments in the country? Is it the question of lack of employment that has driven them away from having vested interest in how the country is run?

Or political parties in the country have failed to come up with enticing manifestos and political programmes that attract the youth? Is it a question of politics stupid in the eyes of the youth?
Something must change!

The youth should have interest in the political development of the country and political parties must redouble their work to entice the young generation not only to register, but also to cast their votes. They must be in charge of their destiny as the future belongs to them. They need to future-proof their lives.

While our laws do not compel citizens of age to vote, the youth must know it is a very important part of any democracy.

By voting, the youth would be participating in the democratic process.

The youth must be educated that they must vote for leaders to represent them and their ideas, and the leaders who will support the citizens’ interests.

Political parties must ensure that the youth participation can be strengthened by including them in the design, implementation, monitoring, reporting and evaluation of instruments, strategies and programmes.

Youth participation can also be improved through a number of approaches, such as education and capacity building.

The parties should roll out programmes targeted at youth and ensure their active participation in politics and the future of the country.

Without youth voting and participation in electoral processes, where will the country be heading too? Recent elections in Zambia, Angola and Kenya have shown how critical the youth are in deciding the future of nations.

We have seen in some parts of Africa that the youth are slowly finding themselves occupying critical political positions.

Why should Zimbabwe be an exception?