All over the world, what matters is the voice of the youth. The population of the youth is the largest worldwide, with Africa having the youngest population in the world. Because of this, the youth have a lot of issues they need to articulate, and this is effective only if there is robust participation in the democratic affairs of the country.
One of the main democratic processes in the country is elections. Over the years, Zimbabwe has witnessed appalling levels of young people who are grossly uninterested with the public affairs of the country, yet they want their issues to be addressed. It is not entirely the fault of the young people, the system and society in which we live in has marginalized the role of the youth to this effect. One then sees a common phenomenon where the youth become radicalized so that they they achieve the parochial interests of other selfish politicians, who do not even put the need s of the youth as their priorities.
The youth have been used as pawns in unorthodox processes that other politicians use to remain in power. The concepts of peace and meaningful development do not exist in the vocabularies of such people. This only works to the effect of not achieving any meaningful progression. If the youth are to see their issues clearly addressed, then they must throw their weight around the one they deem will deliver such promises.
Apart from voting, young people must also run for office. In order for democracy to flourish, there must be an inspiring factor, and this can be achieved by the young people running for office themselves, and then young people voting for that young person. Participating in democratic processes and other matters of public affairs enable one to hold their leader accountable if the leader does not deliver what they promised. How can you hold someone accountable when you did not even vote for them?
For our democracy to work well, it needs people who actively participate in implementing sound policies and other frameworks that create conditions for progress to take place. Since the youth are part of the dominant players in society at the moment, they need to use that potential to make sure that the right people get into public office.
It is often said that those who do not vote are the ones behind bad governance. The youth need to fully participate in Zimbabwe’s democratic processes.