Participants at a youths engagement on electoral processes discussion have bemoaned the recent re-introduction of the National Youth Service saying it brings fear into the citizens more so ahead of the polls set for 2023.
One such participant, Electoral, Governance and human rights defender, Rudo Motsi says:
“The re-introduction of the National Youth Service instills fear to the electorate and already the fairness and peacefulness of the 2023 elections is up in smoke”.
Another attendant, Daniel Chigundu, says national youth service as a program isn’t bad if the intentions are good.
“The problem is the previous manner in which the program was carried out esp during election time where the service became associated with fear and violence,” he says.
ERC’s Michelle Chavango bemoaned the number of seats reserved for youths:
“10 out of 210 seats in parliament is not enough for youths where youths make up around 60% of the country’s demographic.
“It’s two sided where the seats empower youths but only to a certain extent,” she says.
She adds that the national youth service loses its functionality where it’s only backed by and supports only one political party.
She added: “As the ERC we have reached to government to ensure that even though there is covid-19, every person who’s reached 16 years has an ID in order to register to vote in 2023″