MDC-T Youth At It In The Mass Biometric Voter Registration National Assembly Youth Exercise Set To Mobilise More Than 5 Million Youth In Zimbabwe To Register To Vote In 2018 Watershed Elections
CHITUNGWIZA -The MDC-T-led National Mass Biometric Voter Registration campaign orchestrated by the Deputy Secretary in the MDC-T National Youth Assembly, Chamu Madya and his team comprising Jabulani Mtunzi, the Youth Chairperson for Chitungwiza Province, David Chipunza the Youth Secretary for Security, Nobert Kanyama Ward 2 Chairperson for St Mary’s in Chitungwiza, Chitungwiza Youth treasurer, Lovemore Mariko and Philemon Manyore an Executive Member of Chitungwiza Youth Wing is urging all youth in Zimbabwe to come out in their numbers and actively participate in the on-going Mass Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) exercise being officially manned by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) nationwide.
The augmentative and strategic pre-electoral advocacy role being played by Chamu and his team of vibrant and energetic MDC-T National Youth Assembly executives is solely aimed at promoting democratic elections in Zimbabwe by advocating for youth inclusivity (to cater for the disability and alien community), transparency, accuracy, integrity, sustainability, comprehensiveness, and security of data, as the mass BVR will result in a clean, comprehensive and credible voters’ roll with no duplicate names and will minimise multiple voting.
“MDC-T National Youth Assembly is targeting 5 million youth and are determined with our hands on our hearts to give back the youth power to game-change and unseat the Mugabe regime in 2018 watershed elections and for Mugabe to go, the youth must overwhelmingly respond to the MASS BVR program which we are bringing to their doorstep, a program tailor-made to politically empower youth and set the agenda for a desired socio-political future which they the youth must create by employing their democratic voting right to political freedom in Zimbabwe”, said Chamu, during a telephone interview with this reporter.
Chamu has also noted that this time around, there has been an overwhelming response by the girl-child most of whom are first time voters to respond to MDC-T’s mass BVR national advocacy campaign.
He applauded young girls for refusing to be hoodwinked by cheap political hoodlums within the ruling Zanu Pf party who are bent on intimidating them and threatening them to stay out of the voter registration exercise.
“We are very excited that our Youth exercise has attracted young girls who constitute the greater percentage of our youth in Zimbabwe since in the previous elections many young girls have either shunned or been completely ignorant about the whole voter registration thing”, noted Madya.
The programme is assisting youth to have the expedited processing of their identity documents as they are moving around with commissions of oaths who have generously volunteered to support this noble youth programme by these young, progressive and committed MDC-Youth National Assembly executives.
He however urged youth in Zimbabwe to remain resilient, calm, peaceful and united and fearless amid the prevailing uneven socio-political geomorphology in Zimbabwe. Their zeal he said should remain robust and an undying spirit in pursuit of the total freedom of 20 million Zimbabweans from an unpopular and dictatorial regime.
Meanwhile the program is a countrywide exercise which commenced on the 10th of October 2017, when the National mass BVR exercise was officially commissioned by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). Madya is personally determined to usher-in a completely new political dispensation in Zimbabwe, orchestrated by youth from the breadth and width of this country. He and his entire MDC-T National Youth team are on the ground twenty-four hours a day. Chamu has since reiterated that his team is on a non-stop nation-wide mass BVR marathon which will see Zimbabwe have its first ever biggest youth voter turn-out since attaining independence from Britain in 1980.
November 2017 is a special month which will see his team host a women mass BVR advocacy exercise. The program will target young women vendors, commercial sex workers, school children, rank marshals (mahwindi), ill-legal gold panners (makorokoza), the disabled, aliens, churches and the entire business community in Zimbabwe, so that they are grilled in the voting processing and also cleansed of fearing the empty intimidating threats of Zanu Pf. Other upcoming MDC-T National Youth Assembly mass BVR programs will be convened at Chitungwiza Town Centre, Mberi Primary School, St Eden’s, Seke Teachers College, and all secondary schools as the program will be targeting youth 18 years upwards.
“Our recent Mhondoro-Mubaira mass BVR exercise was a success and this was our first time to penetrate the area with an exercise of this nature and the interesting thing is that more than 200 new voters showed up”, added Chamu.
Mass BVR in Zimbabwe is a brain child of the successful voter apathy that MDC-T President Morgan Tsvangirai has repeatedly stood his ground to boycott elections since 2013 to protest for electoral reforms in Zimbabwe’s rugged and distrusted electoral process.
“Youth are no longer afraid (vechidiki havachatye) and now they are very eager to exercise their constitutionally abrogated right to access the relevant information pertaining to the electoral cycle and must be told the benefits, and importance of their participation and involvement in election processes, and the reasons why they should vote, as a strategic way of empowering them to take their democratic stand and be masters of their own destinies”, declared Chamu.
Biometrics is a technology recently introduced by ZEC and will be used to capture unique physical features such as finger prints and/or facial scans for the purposes of identification of all voters registering for the 2018 harmonised general elections in Zimbabwe. Biological and behavioural characteristics are stored in a database and used for identification of voters on polling day. Mass Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) can be used to collect this unique data to identify voters and the software used can help eliminate duplicates or multiple registrations due to malpractice, fraud and human error.
“The mass BVR exercise is going to help enhance trust and confidence in the voters’ roll which in previous elections has been highly contested emanating from the presence of duplicated entries and other errors and this is an opportunity for Zimbabwe to get a fresh voters’ roll”, attested Chamu.
Elections today are unarguably the most preferred way to elect leaders the world over. Credible, free and fair elections give legitimacy to elected leaders and as such if leaders fail to represent the interests of those who voted them into power, it is incumbent on voters to reject them through elections. Over the years we have seen the introduction of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the administration of elections. The introduction of mass Biometric Voter Registration and Biometric Voter Identification on e-day is a new trend to most in African countries. Electronic voting is not yet so popular in Africa with the exception of Namibia and Kenya, which are the first African countries to try electronic voting.
“Finally, I would want to urge all school going youth who are seventeen and turning eighteen next year just before the general elections to also come for the mass BVR exercise, and last but not least, let nobody intimidate our youth and our parents by demanding that they surrender their BVR Serial Numbers to them, they must neither be intimidated nor subdue to the unconstitutional demands of such vagrant elements who are alleged to be overzealous Zanu Pf youth bent on robbing innocent Zimbabwean youth of their only Constitutional right to choose the political future they want for their country”, said Chamu.
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