Thursday, 1 August 2013

Female students eager to cast their vote

The 31st of July is the D-day for many female student virgin voters.  Most female students registered in the ended mobile registration exercise and are enthusiastic to cast their vote.

For 27 year old Isabel Phiri* growing up in a relatively harsh environment where she had to be labelled a “brandaya”, a term for people who are of the Malawian origin, she had to face the reality that indeed she was not considered a Zimbabwean.

 In 2008 when she tried to cast her ballot at the age of 22, Isabel tried to cast her first vote but alas, the screaming letters written “alien” on her identification certificate was her draw back

She was told that she could not exercise her right to vote simply because her parents were foreigners.

Five years down the line, Isabel was given a new lease of life when Zimbabwe ushered in the new constitution.

Not only is Isabel a born free but also an alien allowed to make a decision in the political dispensation, thanks to the new supreme law of the land. She only had to fill an affidavit and was allowed to register as a voter.

A female student at Lupane State University said she tried to register in 2008 as a voter at the age of 23, but was frustrated by the process of proof of residence and hence failed to register.

This time around, she is determined to exercise her right to vote since she is now a registered voter and to make a change in her life by voting for the party of her choice.

Another female student at Africa University said she was motivated by the desire to bring in the change she wants as a young woman.

“I was keen to go and register this time because I want to be able to shape my future by choosing people who can make a change in my life. I also believe that as young women we should all go and vote to decide our future. I feel excited that I exercised my right and my vote will count in building up a great nation,” she said.

This year youth are itching to make their voices count in the upcoming elections. According to a survey done by Mass Public Opinion Institute,

A total of at least one hundred and thirty female students have registered to vote in the upcoming harmonised elections, with the encouragement of FSN.
* not her real name.

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