Campaign launched for youth participation in elections

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Lisa Mawuwa: Leave No Youth Behind 2023 campaign coordinator

The National Association of Youth Organisations (NAYO) on Friday last week launched a electoral focused campaign dubbed Leave ‘No Youth Behind 2023’ aimed at rallying the young people towards full participation in the upcoming 2023 harmonised elections.

The campaign launched at Media Centre and presided by representatives of youth organisations working in Zimbabwe, seeks among other things to engage the government to improve the representation of youth in decision making and development processes as espoused in the country’s National Development Strategy Document (NDS1).

NAYO has moved in through the campaign to push the Government to remove all constitutional provisions which are deemed discriminatory on the part of Youth while advocating for a level-playing field that allows for Youth to thrive in all spheres of life which they seek to be represented and participate.

The blitz also aims to compliment the activities of the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) such as mobilising for voter education, registration, and the actual voting on election day.

Throughout the electoral cycle leading to 2023 general elections, NAYO is calling upon the Youth to be promoters of peace pledges and other such initiatives to foster political tolerance, unity and social cohesion.

The Government of Zimbabwe, bodies like the Zimbabwe Election Commission and other independent commissions are key stakeholders in the operation of the campaign and will be continually engaged on issues of concern to Youth to ensure their full participation and representation.

The Campaign, which will be active across the country’s 10 provinces will be pushed by the youth in line with the dictates of the Constitution and NDS1.

In Zimbabwe, youth constitute between 60 to 70% of the population. In past elections, the young people have largely been used in political parties to perpetrate violence and terrorise perceived opponents. Instead, they have not been accorded full participation in leadership positions, a grim situation that has perpetuated their marginalisation.

NAYO is an association and platform for youth organizations working in Zimbabwe. Its vision is to see a repositioned, redefined and enhanced role of youth in community, national, regional and international developmental

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