As the 2018 harmonized elections draw closer, a consortium of youth organisation have launched an ambitious campaign dubbed “Leave No Youths Behind” to mobilize two million young people to register and vote, as a way pushing for the realization of young people’s aspirations which they say have been neglected by the government.
Addressing the media in Harare on Tuesday, Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) Secretary General, Makomborero Haruzivishe said the campaign is targeting to mobilize two million new voters, with a rapid response mechanism to address any potential threats of violence, especially during the elections period.
“We have engaged key institutions like Zimbabwe Peace Project and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights as part of our rapid response mechanism and we also have emergency call numbers of the key institutions such as the Zimbabwe Republic Police,” said Haruzivishe.
He added that the campaign will target all youths across the political divide as the challenges facing youths cut across political affiliation.
“When we do not have access to education, all youths suffer, when we do not have jobs, all youths suffer, so we are not looking at one’s political affiliation but the needs and aspirations of Zimbabwean youths,” said Haruzivishe.
Misheck Gondo, Director of National Association of Youths Organisation (NAYO), one of the implementing organisations noted that violence has successfully dissuaded youths from participating in elections adding that their campaign will ensure that there is a quarter system for youths candidates in the 2018 elections.
“Young people form two thirds of the country’s population but they are being side-lined in important processes, so a strategic representation of youths in parliament will help in pushing youths issues,” said Gondo.
He added that their campaign will also engage all political parties in the country to sign a peace pledge committing to violent free elections.
“This group is going to engage the political party leaders, from the ruling party to what is called the smallest party and preach the gospel of peace as we have integrated peace to our campaign,” Gondo explained.
The campaign will be running under a Twitter hashtag #LeaveNoYouthBehind and is anchored on four pillars name Go Mobilise, Go Register, Go Educate and Go Vote. Organisations such as NAYO, ZINASU and many others.