Thursday, June 1, 2023

YETT in youth constitutional literacy empowerment drive

Tinaani Nyabereka

Gweru-Youth Empowerment and Transformation Trust (YETT) last week engaged young people in the Midlands capital on a constitution and electoral processes literacy workshop in an effort to fight misinformation and disinformation among the youth.
The engagement meeting was attended by various stakeholders including officials from Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
Speaking during the engagement, YETT Democracy and Governance Officer Takaedza Tafirei said the reason for the engagement is to help youths appreciate the legal provisions with regards to elections in Zimbabwe.
“The process we were having today is the constitutional literacy and electoral process training for young people in Gweru. The reason behind this interaction is meant for young people to appreciate the legal provisions with regards to elections.
“The engagement is also meant to ensure meaningful understanding on how elections are managed or run in the country. Such trainings are meant to be an eye opener and help them to know the relevant authorities who can assist them in as far as electoral matters are concerned. Remember we have the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission which is responsible for conducting elections and of late it was conducting registration blitz across the country.
“Some youth might have not gotten the opportunity to learn or know about the ZEC blitz, so it is on platforms like these that we have invited ZEC to assist young people and help them know the requirements needed for them to register to vote,” he said.
Tafirei further said it was important for young people to take a leading role and participate in governance processes.
“Young people are afraid to be involved in issues of national development; some don’t have resources to contest for positions. It’s also good for young people to contest for leadership positions. We want youth to be councillors or Members of Parliament.
“Only as youth, if we get to understand the importance of participating in these processes, we will get to appreciate how crucial our input is in nation building. So we touched on a number of issues which include the types of elections we have in Zimbabwe that is, the hybrid type of election and proportional representation in which we elect our senators when we go to the polls. The senators are voted for indirectly when we choose our MPs and councillors.
“Of much concern are also the contentious issues which are affecting young people who are in prisons, hospitals and the diaspora who cannot cast their vote because of the various conditions which are provided for by our constitution.
As you know we were given a youth quota, whereby ten seats are reserved for young people to contest for parliamentary posts. So as youth, we were saying we have a way in which we want the election process conducted. Young people are worried and want to know how the process will go?” he added.
Women Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) Gweru Chapter Chairperson Nozipho Rutsate said young people are not aware of their importance in nation building processes.
“As young people we are backward, we don’t take issues seriously sometimes. The reason why we don’t take active roles in governance issues is we don’t know the importance of our involvement, or the key reason why we should actively exercise our rights in electoral processes,” said Rutsate.
A youth, Titus Mangoma said it is important for young people to cascade information they got to the grassroots.
“I want to encourage youths to share information with their peers. If you have been taught, don’t keep information to yourself, go and teach those at home. That way it helps us to build one another as knowledge is power.
“We have youth in rural areas, let’s try to reach to them as well as they need such vital information,” he said.

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