Closed spaces or (in)competent citizens? A study of youth preparedness for participation in elections in Zimbabwe

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This study sets out to explore the barriers to youth participation and how youth could be supported to enhance their participation in elections and governance processes in Zimbabwe. The study was carried out using quantitative methodologies. A survey was carried out to collect data, which in turn was analysed using SPSS. Evidence from the study shows that decision-making processes are not improving and becoming more participatory and youth inclusive. It was observed that youth participation in elections and governance processes is low and it is hampered inter alia by restrictive political structures, lack of interest, lack of information and lack of funds. Whilst some youth are ready to run for public office, they need to freely participate in politics and develop without restrictions, including getting support through leadership training. These young candidates will also need training in elections and governance processes as well as mobilise and sensitise other youth to register to vote if they are to succeed in their quest for public office. Resources and support must be given to youth-led initiatives that are reaching out to young people and ensure they play their part in democratic processes at all levels of governments.

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... According to MINDS (2016) and Chitukutuku (2014), 39.5 percent of the population of the youth in Africa falls within the age cohort 18 to 45 years. Therefore, it would be expected to find them being the majority of voters, given the statistics (Bincof, 2018;Musarurwa, 2018;Onder & Karabulut, 2017). Participatory leadership, a condition for functioning democracies (Mutisi et al., 2017;Chitukutuku, 2014;Verba et al., 1995), ensures both quality of stewardship and its ability to engage citizens meaningfully in local, national and international development initiatives. ...
... Most Governments often assume that democracy provides a recipe for positive policy outcomes, good governmental processes and effective participation in decision making which ensures the strengths of political inclusion. It is worth noting that processes such as re-democratization and decentralization have become synonymous with good governance practices (Musarurwa, 2018;Dean, 2017;Sanyare, 2013;Norris, 2008). The interest in decentralized administrative structures represents, in part, a response to a growing recognition that improvement in the capacity of government is not, in it, sufficient to ensure positive outcomes from government actions. ...
... This study, therefore, investigated the challenges confronting youth participation in local level governance of Wa Municipality of the Upper West Region of Ghana. The focus on youth seems ripe as youth engagement at the grass root level often serves as starting point for the development of interest in, and support for, national discourse (Musarurwa, 2018;Michels & De Graaf, 2017;Gyampo & Franklin, 2013). The study embodies the idea that the youth are capable of helping themselves, articulating their own needs, and finding solutions to their problems. ...
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This study investigates the factors that influence youth participation in local level governance in Ghana, a developing country. The Upper West Region was selected as a case study for this research. Through focus group discussions and in-depth interviews, as well as analysis of policy documents, the study reveals that the youth are more skillful in the use of technology and other strategic interventions to help address local, national, and global issues. Nonetheless, they are often marginalized and discriminated by their older partners at the Wa Municipal Assembly (WMA). Factors such as institutional barriers, partisan politicking, and inadequate resources account for much of the limitations placed on youth participation in the WMA. Given that the youth constitute more than half of Ghana`s population and 36% of the population of Wa, it is important to rethink the place of the youth in the management of the Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies.
... Terdapat pelbagai cabaran yang dihadapi oleh belia walaupun mereka bersedia bertindak dan menjadi pemimpin masa hadapan. Menurut, McEvoy-Levy, (2012) dan Musarurwa (2018) idealisme golongan dewasa yang melihat golongan belia kekurangan pengetahuan dan pengalaman. Ini mengakibatkan golongan dewasa tidak bersedia memberikan ruang dan peluang untuk belia terlibat secara bersama. ...
... Oleh itu, dapatan kajian ini menyokong kajian-kajian lepas yang dijalankan oleh Masuku dan Macheka (2021); Macheka (2021). Musarurwa (2018). Maka, seharusnya belia pada hari ini tidak hanya terlibat tetapi perlu memainkan peranan penting untuk terlibat sama dalam membuat keputusan bersamasama dengan pemimpin belia dalam mengerakkan persatuan belia. ...
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This work is licensed under CC BY 4.0 Kajian ini bertujuan mengenal pasti konsep penyertaan awam dalam konteks urus tadbir menurut kefahaman dan amalan pemimpin belia. Kajian lepas dan statistik Indeks Belia Malaysia tahun 2016 menunjukkan berlaku penurunan pendaftaran keahlian dalam kebanyakan organisasi belia. Penurunan dalam pendaftaran keahlian memberi gambaran bahawa golongan muda semakin kurang berminat untuk terlibat dalam persatuan belia dan keadaan ini boleh dianggap sebagai situasi yang kritikal kepada masa depan negara. Oleh itu, kajian ini cuba menelusuri kefahaman konsep penyertaan belia dalam kalangan pemimpian belia. Kefahaman konsep asas ini penting kerana kefahaman yang betul akan membantu pemimpin belia untuk menarik ramai golongan muda untuk terlibat dalam pertubuhan belia dan seterusnya merancakkan proses urus tadbir melalui penyertaan awam yang matang dan berterusan. Seramai tujuh orang pemimpin tertinggi belia telah ditemubual. Data temubual telah dianalisis menggunakan kaedah tematik. Dapatan kajian menunjukkan bahawa kefahaman mengenai konsep penyertaan awam dalam kalangan pemimpin tertinggi belia masih lagi rendah. Pemimpin belia memberikan takrifan yang umum dan pelbagai berkenaan tentang konsep penyertaan awam dan ini menyebabkan pelaksanaan penyertaan awam kurang ditekankan. Kajian ini dijangkakan dapat membantu pihak-pihak yang berkaitan dalam pengurusan belia bagi merangka dan mereka bentuk aktiviti dan program yang bersesuaian dan mampu menarik minat belia untuk turut sama meningkatkan penyertaan awam.
... Other challenges include lack of capacity, lack of financial resources, lack of information and absence of a positive engagement culture (Musarurwa, 2018;Agbiboa, 2015;Lührmann, 2013; Qasem, 2013). This statement that government budget allocation for youth programs and initiatives is very inadequate. ...
... Youth association believed that financial support and youth participation in program are really important and the reasons of challenges in public participation. Among other challenges is that in addition to problems stemming from adults, youths themselves should also be blamed for low levels of participation, due to their lack of interest and need to acquire knowledge (Musarurwa, 2018). Youth are now less interested in getting involved or less committed to the activities or programs carried out. ...
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The participation plays an important role among other people. When social participation is used today, a public participation will be rapid. The problem has happened when less participation of young people involved on youth associations. The youth has believed that they have still lacked the partcipation has needed for an effective participation and expressed little confidence in their involvement. This paper has analysed the challenges of public participation among youth associations. The methods that used a qualitative study by an interview for five youth associations in Kedah. Drawing on the final findings, two challenges which are: (i) financial and (ii) a less youth participation. Furthermore, the findings are expected to contribute to strengthening the youth associations to achieve good governance in the public participation.
... Such homegrown and external factors have contributed, according to Gwenhamo (2011), to the manifestation of high fiscal deficits, weak institutions, policy contradictions, and unparalleled rates of corruption characteristic of an armed conflict. Apparently sanctions in Zimbabwe do not work even though they are imposed for 20 years or more, particularly that they bring suffering and impoverishment to those they are supposed to shield (Musarurwa, 2018). Sanctions are, according to Professor Hanke, 2 an act of war because they are similar to a 'siege' which is illegal under international law. ...
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The essay focused on the next decade of 2020s with concepts and strategies on how best to achieve the goals of the UNSCR 1325 of 2000. Zimbabwe's case is cited overall as an international actor, making specific and practical reference to its success and failures of the last two decades. In pursuit to achieve goals of the Resolution 1325, Zimbabwe made recommendable progress in aligning its legal framework at home and abroad in a way to guarantee women and girls security. Nevertheless, the success story of Zimbabwe is overshadowed by various socioeconomic and political factors that adversely affected its efforts. These are attributed to endogenous and exogenous distractive dynamics that portend the human security discourse. At the centre of this paper are the humanitarian implications of economic sanctions levelled on Zimbabwe by the United States of America known as the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001. On this end, Zimbabwe's success in the next decade is dependant on whether these sanctions are lifted or are maintained under the 2018 Amendment. This paper concludes by making recommendations to prepare women and children for distance learning to strengthen moral governance in the private sector, prosecution of perpetrators of Gender Based Violence (GBV), and the establishment of social security safety net schemes among others just to mention a few.
... The key issue highlighted by our findings is that the preference for older aspirants is not simply rooted in voters' judgments of aspirants' merit. Rather, the seeming preference for The youth have been widely branded as politically apathetic and some of the previously identified predictors of low electoral turn-out among young African voters include cynical attitudes toward mainstream politics, financial barriers and disinterest in politics (Musarurwa 2018;Oyedemi and Mahlatji 2016;Tracey 2016). In addition to previous research linking age with electoral turn-out and interest in politics (e.g., Goerres 2007), our data show that age is also positively linked with a preference for older rather than younger leadership aspirants. ...
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ABSTRACT Like in many African countries, there is a wide age gap between political leaders and the electorate in Nigeria. While the socio-political implications of this gap are a common subject of debate in the Nigerian political space, the possible factors perpetuating it are much less understood. Against the background of the recent passage of the Not-too-Young-To-Run legislative bill, our study investigates how voters' preferences for older leadership candidates compared with younger ones are associated with gerontocratic social orientations. We introduce the concept of Age Dominance Orientation (ADO), which refers to the degree to which individuals subscribe to a system of age-based social hierarchy, and we surveyed prospective voters to examine if and how ADO affects voters' choices. Our findings show that ADO positively predicts voters' preferences for older leaders after controlling for relevant confounding factors.
Youths remain central to political conflict and violence within the Zambian polity. This article discusses the nature, extent, causes and effects of politically motivated conflict and violence among Zambian youths. As part of a doctoral project, the study was conducted in Kalulushi constituency, one of the conflict hotspots in Zambia’s Copperbelt region during the 2016 general elections. Using a convenience sampling method, 395 young people were surveyed, together with eight senior political leaders and 32 young party supporters purposely recruited from the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), Patriotic Front (PF) and United Party for National Development (UPND). The study highlighted increased political and electoral violence in 2019, with senior political leaders and young PF and UPND party supporters culpable in keeping the inter-party belligerence afloat. The research illustrates how Zambian youths’ poor socioeconomic status predisposes them to being co-opted into political and electoral violence. More specifically, the disruptive effects of violence on communities, voters, ordinary citizens and its overall impediment to consolidating democracy are identified.
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This Conceptual paper proposes a framework for non-violent conflict resolution for Zimbabwe. It argues that non-violent action is the only viable option available to address conflict situations. The option has potential to bring better results and success than the violent option. The key source of power of nonviolent action is the local people and the cooperation of different stakeholders. People power and civilian-based resistance help legitimise the change process and the government that emerges out of the process stays in power longer. The assumption is that if people carry out the action long enough and in sufficient numbers it will lead to an oppressive government becoming powerless and receding. The paper argues that nonviolent action is not spontaneous but follows periods of strategic planning. Plans on how to respond to the oppressor's reaction need to be developed. So too should the non-violent movement know its resource base and how it is going to mobilise people to take part. Non-violent action needs to be accompanied with strong strategic thinking and communication skills. It also requires a lot of community mobilisation and training. Ordinary citizens need to be skilled on how to act non-violently when faced up with a violent reaction to their demands.
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One of the major lacunas in the field of youth studies is the lack of attention to, and thorough documentation of, the positive contributions of young people, especially in developing societies. The vast bulk of studies are skewed towards the view of youth as enfants terribles, without any attempt to understand and explain tactical ways in which youth have created and continue to create alternative lives for themselves under great adversity. Drawing on case studies from Northern Nigeria (youth as agents of counter-terrorism) and Northern Mali (youth as tactical agents of development), the burden of this article is to identify the multiple challenges facing youth in West Africa’s Sahel region and, especially, to show how Sahelian youth are coping with these everyday challenges in tactical, ingenious and creative ways that underscore both their considerable social agency and their inherent capacity to make telling contributions to peacebuilding and development in their local communities.
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PERSONAL, RELATIONAL, AND COLLECTIVE WELL-BEING Various traditions within developmental science and psychology have concentrated on either personal or collective correlates as manifestations of well-being. Our claim is that the well-being of any one person is highly dependent on the well-being of her relationships and on the community in which she resides ~Nelson & Prilleltensky, 2005; Prilleltensky, Nelson, & Peirson, 2001!. Well-being may be defined as a positive state of affairs in which the personal, relational, and collective needs and aspirations of individuals and communities are fulfilled. Well-being refers to a satisfactory state of affairs for individual youth and communities that encompass more than the absence of risk. Our definition of well-being is in line with comprehensive conceptualizations of health promotion and youth development that emphasize the values of self-determination, participation, community capacity-building, structural determinants, and social justice ~Lerner, 2004!. In this article, we introduce a framework for understanding well-being in general and the well-being of youth in particular. In addition, we offer a model for analyzing interventions designed to promote personal and collective well-being. Finally, we discuss the contributions of the authors of this special issue to our analytical and intervention frameworks. We start by introducing a framework of well-being ~Prilleltensky & Prilleltensky, 2006!. We distinguish among sites, signs, sources, and strategies of well-being for youth and for society at large. These are the parts that comprise the whole of well-being.
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Constance Flanagan and Peter Levine survey research on civic engagement among U.S. adolescents and young adults. Civic engagement, they say, is important both for the functioning of democracies and for the growth and maturation it encourages in young adults, but opportunities for civic engagement are not evenly distributed by social class or race and ethnicity. Today's young adults, note the authors, are less likely than those in earlier generations to exhibit many important characteristics of citizenship, raising the question of whether these differences represent a decline or simply a delay in traditional adult patterns of civic engagement. Flanagan and Levine also briefly discuss the civic and political lives of immigrant youth in the United States, noting that because these youth make up a significant share of the current generation of young adults, their civic engagement is an important barometer of the future of democracy. The authors next survey differences in civic participation for youth from different social, racial, and ethnic backgrounds. They explore two sets of factors that contribute to a lower rate of civic engagement among low-income and minority young adults. The first is cumulative disadvantage-unequal opportunities and influences before adulthood, especially parental education. The second is different institutional opportunities for civic engagement among college and non-college youth during the young-adult years. Flanagan and Levine survey various settings where young adults spend time-schools and colleges, community organizations, faith-based institutions, community organizing and activism projects, and military and other voluntary service programs-and examine the opportunities for civic engagement that each affords. As the transition to adulthood has lengthened, say the authors, colleges have become perhaps the central institution for civic incorporation of younger generations. But no comparable institution exists for young adults who do not attend college. Opportunities for sustained civic engagement by year-long programs such as City Year could provide an alternative opportunity for civic engagement for young adults from disadvantaged families, allowing them to stay connected to mainstream opportunities and to adults who could mentor and guide their way.
The introductory essay presents a locally-grounded theoretical framework for studying youth and everyday peace(building). Drawing on examples from fieldwork as well as insights from the articles to follow in the journal, the essay highlights three interrelated and overlapping spheres of inquiry. First, it makes the case for examining the age-specific as well as gender-, and other contextually-specific roles of youth as they relate to everyday peacebuilding. Second, the essay draws attention to how everyday peace is narrated by or through youth. It poses questions about what values, policies, and governmental structures are specifically being resisted and rejected, and how peace is conceptualised and/or hidden in the narratives of youth. Third, along with these concerns, the nexus of global and local (including discursive and institutional) structures that facilitate, curtail, and curtain everyday peace (building) practices are important to identify and evaluate for their impacts on the roles and ideas of youth. In proposing this theoretical framework that recognises the complex and multiple ways youth are engaged in their everyday worlds, this essay asks how we can engage this recognition within knowledges and practices of everyday peace(building).
Which form or forms of civic engagement have the most potential to involve young people in a socially-just diverse democracy? At a time when civic engagement will benefit from conceptual clarification, this paper addresses this question and some of the issues it raises. It analyzes four forms of youth civic engagement for a socially-just diverse democracy. It examines each one according to analytic categories, compares their similarities and differences, and raises questions for future work. It draws upon research in psychology, sociology, and other academic disciplines; and on intergroup relations, multicultural education, social work, and other professional fields. The expectation is that systematic analysis of these phenomena as a subject of study will contribute to the quality of their practice, and move discussion of civic engagement to the next level.
Youth are becoming the frontiers and catalysts of positive social changes through their participation. This paper examines youth involvement in the society to get a better understanding of the process of youth participation in development programs, and to investigate the perceptions of youth regarding the poverty issue in the world. Two different methods were applied in the study: a critical in-depth literature review was conducted followed by a validation process to better elaborate the process of youth participation in development programs. Questionnaires and an analysis of the findings were also used. The results show that the youth who live in poor countries are more used to poverty and consider it as an inevitable part of their lives. Besides, the more that youth think about and are aware of poverty in the world, the more responsible they feel towards it. Also, those youth who believed in the important role of holding conferences and events in making young people aware of the necessary actions to eradicate poverty had also taken more actions to tackle it.
Key Points · Youth civic engagement can take various forms, of which intergroup dialogue is one. Some forms – such as electoral participation – are inappropriate for young people. · This article describes Youth Dialogues on Race and Ethnicity in Metropolitan Detroit, the nation’s most segregated metropolitan area. · High-school-age students participated in intraand intergroup dialogues, metropolitan tours, residential retreats, and community action projects. · Youth participants increased their knowledge of their own racial and ethnic identities and those of others, increased their awareness and understanding of racism and racial privilege, and developed leadership skills and took actions to challenge racism in their communities.
The period in Zimbabwe history since the second half of the 1990's will loom large as a decisive phase in the country's political economy. During these years the political and economic terrain was substantively restructured setting out the current crisis in Zimbabwe.
What mechanisms have ensured ZANU-PF’s enduring rule? This article identifies five: an ideological belief in a right to rule in perpetuity, a party machinery that penetrates the organs of state, a corrupted economy vested in the hands of party loyalists, an institutionalized role in policy making for military commanders, and a heavy reliance on violence, increasingly outsourced to auxiliary forces. Because the ZANU-PF regime—a militarized form of electoral authoritarianism—will outlast the Robert Mugabe’s political career or biological lifespan, it will affect the nature of any political transition and future prospects for democracy in Zimbabwe.
Youth participation strengthens personal and social development, provides expertise for children and youth programs and services, and promotes a more democratic society, but questions arise about its most fundamental phenomena. Lacking agreement on its basic content, however, youth participation as a field of practice and subject of study will be limited. This paper examines what we know about youth participation, general propositions which are substantiated by research or practice, and unanswered questions or unresolved issues which remain for future work. It draws upon various academic disciplines and professional fields, in order to contribute to knowledge development and advance the field.
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