Youth hardest hit by post-election violence: Nayo

NATIONAL Association of Youth Organisations (Nayo) national director Misheck Gondo yesterday condemned the post-election violence in Harare, saying it affected mostly young people, with many of them now forced to go into hiding. Addressing a media briefing, Gondo expressed displeasure over the violence, saying use of live ammunition against civilians could never be justified.

BY VENERANDA LANGA

“We are worried about the post-electoral period, where many activists that are mainly young people went into hiding after taking part in the demonstrations by the opposition MDC Alliance, and most of the people from the opposition that were arrested were young people, and we want them to exercise restraint,” he said.

“The release of the results of the July 30 elections and the actions of the army and riot police have brought back traumatic memories of decades of repression suffered by Zimbabweans under the regime of ousted President Robert Mugabe, and the use of live ammunition against unarmed civilians can never be justified.”

Gondo said the economic hardships currently experienced by Zimbabweans created a dangerous subtext to the 2018 elections, adding that any other national process was dependent on the successful resolution of the economic question.

“For future elections, we recommend that State institutions, including traditional leaders, do all that is possible to win back the legitimacy, trust and confidence of the people, as they are believed not to be serving the interests of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe needed not only to be open for business, but to be open to Zimbabweans,” he said.

Zimbabwe National Students Association co-ordinator Samuel Gwenzi said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) also needs to improve communication, transparency and accountability to stakeholders, and to share accurate information with political parties, citizens and stakeholders during all the phases of the electoral cycle. “At the polling stations, young people were frustrated when they could not find their names, and Zec could not assist them. People were confused and there were no ushers to assist them to look for their correct polling stations and they ended up not voting,” Gwenzi said.

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