263 Movement: Register to vote, decide and contest; youths told

By Nyasha Nhau

A group of energetic young people came from different provinces called 263 Movement organised themselves ahead of 2023 elections and volunteered to push the gospel of voter registration under the harsh tag register to vote Zimbabwe advised young people to actively take part in decision making if they do not want decisions to be made on their behalf.

Brandon Anold Malaba the spokesperson of 263 told NTU News Zimbabwe that young people need to research and participate inorder to be included.

“Young people should look, ask and search for information no matter how hard it is someone will give you the information that is needed.

“They should be engaging with whatever that is happening for the purposes of inclusion because failure to do so our voices will never be heard.

“This is just links to participation and engagement but we need to include ourselves.”

Malaba also reminded young people that they constitute a larger number and should use that to their advantage to chose the people who they know better while at the same time they should take part as candidates for 2023 so that they become part of the decision making echelons.

“When you see a post apply for it, take part so that you can have a voice, if not someone will make a decision for you, that’s what we need to do away with as young people.

“Youths constitute the largest population meaning they are suppose to be the ones in the decision making and we should use our numbers to our advantage.

“Let us go out in numbers, register to vote and select our leaders and contest as candidates.

“If we have more youths who are going to turn up then they vote for people whom they know and can hold into account, as a result we can bring change,” he explained.

Malaba made it public that 263 movement is not aligned to any political parties and does not tell anyone who to vote for except to encourage young people to be part of the decision making.

He said “whether you vote for Zanu Pf or MDC, MRP and all other parties which are there, it is your choice.

“Voting is your right and secret no one else should come and tell you who to vote for, our movement does not tell you which part or candidates to vote for.”

263 initiative started in May 2021 first implemented Chitungwiza Makoni before spreading to other parts of the country, using a door to door campaign strategy encouraging citizens to go and register to vote.

“This initiative was started by young people and we are currently based throughout the country including Bulawayo, Binga, Vic falls, Mutare, Harare, Chitungwiza, Hwedza, Kwekwe and Kadoma, we are in every province.

“The call of encouraging young people to vote is so far so good especially in Chinhoyi, and we do it every week from monday to friday.

The 263 Movement is funded by well wishers and individuals from different parts of the country who wishes to see young people being part of making history in shaping Zimbabwe, and like any other initiatives, it has it’s own challenges including the political environment in the country.

“Our political environment is not user-friendly, at times when you are transporting people to registration centers you maybe stopped and asked questions on the motives behind all this.

“It is a challenge on it’s own remember these are new voters, if they are faced with such a situation they find it hard to encourage others because of the experiences they would have came across, as well when you are working with citizens or mobilizers whom we had an agreement with that  when we are doing this thing it is a citizen movement, we are not politically affiliated,” said Malaba.

He added that “in terms of funding, we are being assisted by citizens across the country who actually want to see this happening, the challenging part is that if their funds do not come it means we have to source them elsewhere.”

263 Movement is also using different forms of arts including music to spread the message of encouraging young people to register to vote.

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