By Staff Reporter
Norton legislator Temba Mliswa is set to hold a blitz of symposiums in the country’s 10 provinces in an effort to sensitise youth on the electoral processes and the new Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) system.
The symposiums will be held under the banner of Youth Advocacy for Reform and Democracy (YARD).
YARD is a youth pressure group advocating for youth participation in politics and was founded by Temba Mliswa in 2015 following his expulsion from Zanu PF.
Addressing a press conference, Mliswa said YARD was going to facilitate a platform in the form of symposiums for key stakeholders to participate in.
“Yard being a dominant, apolitical youth organization has the capacity to draw large crowds of youth from all political affiliations and walks of life and is, therefore, an ideal facilitator for such an event. Furthermore, the youth form the largest population demographic and therefore are a critical network to penetrate and widely disseminate the message of voter participation, political tolerance and peace during elections,” Mliswa said.
The symposiums blitzes which are scheduled to start on the 14th of October 2017 in Lupane, Matabeleland North will be held under the theme “Youth participation in a peaceful and democratic 2018 election”.
The former Hurungwe West MP said attendance of the symposium was totally apolitical and free to all youths from various political parties. Mliswa pledged to accommodate youths who came in their political regalia.
Keynote speakers for the symposiums will be drawn from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) which include Heal Zimbabwe Trust, Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) and Zimbabwe Election Resource Centre (ERC) among others.
Mliswa hinted that the program was going to cascade to rural areas where 70 percent of the electorate is based.
In May last year, Mliswa and other 24 members of YARD team were arrested in Esgodini, Matabeleland South Province for allegedly holding an unsanctioned public meeting with the youths.