HARARE - Some organizations are targeting youths in Zimbabwe to take part in the first post-Robert Mugabe general election Monday in which the issues of unemployment and political stability are likely going to determine voting patterns. A "Go Out and Vote" campaign was active at a free concert in Mbare, an underdeveloped town.
While politicians target big cities and popular places asking for votes ahead of the July 30 polls, the Youth Empowerment and Transformation Trust and other local NGOs have embarked on a nationwide campaign to ensure that young people participate in the election.
In Mbare, Charles Chisale of the trust explains the "Go Out and Vote" campaign, which he calls a dialogue.
"We are going to be discussing all the youths' concerns, what the youths want after the 2018 elections so please come and witness, please come and share so that we can all build the Zimbabwe we all want," said Chisale.
Hashton Gumira, a youth leader in this township who refuses to reveal his political affiliation - welcomes the idea of encouraging Zimbabwe youths to vote on Monday.
"Young people we have suffered and we have suffered enough, now it's time to use our demographic dividend, 60 percent of the 5.5 million of voters in this election they are young people aged between 18 and 40 so it is very important because for me as a young person I think the issues which affect us as young people are similar so when you go and vote we have to go and vote for our issues, the issues of youth employment," said Gumira.
In the Monday election, 75-year-old President Emmerson Mnangagwa faces 22 presidential challengers, including 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance.
Results of Monday's general election are expected by next Saturday. The country's constitution requires the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to release results within five days of the closing of polls.