By Locadia Mavhudzi
Human Rights defender, Takaedza Tafirei urged stakeholders to educate rural youths on electoral processes.
He said youths lacked adequate information on electoral processes such as the delimitation of electoral boundaries.
“The nation is preparing for a census and there is a delimitation process ongoing,” he said.
“The majority of young people are not aware of that whole process and how it affects them in the short and long term.
“Electoral authorities are too silent on the matter.” Tafirei said electoral authorities had to consider challenges young people were facing in accessing information on politics during the Covid-19 lockdown era.
“It is very important for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to address challenges such as lack of transparency, absence of involvement of interested stakeholder, lack of public participation and inadequate publicity,” he said.
“As young people we believe the pandemic has highly compromised our democracy as political leaders are using safety mechanisms to limit democratic participation and further exclude youth from decision-making processes.
“For example, consultations for proposed bills are prone to sail without public scrutiny because young people are locked down and cannot contribute meaningfully in such critical democratic processes.”
Meanwhile, Parliamentary Portfolio committee on Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs member Brian Dube said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission had confirmed that preliminary stages of the delimitation process was complete.
“The committee engaged ZEC and was recently informed of the preliminary survey,” he said.
“ZEC is doing some work but there is lack of knowledge sharing and raising awareness with the general populace.”