A Review of Political Participation between Youth and Elderly People in Zimbabwe: Youth and Elderly Political Participation

A Review of Political Participation between Youth and Elderly People in Zimbabwe: Youth and Elderly Political Participation

Obediah Dodo
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/IJPAE.2019100101
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The study sought to establish the differences in levels of involvement in politics between the youths and older people in Zimbabwe post-independence. It also expiilores influences to their engagement. The explorative qualitative study was conducted to bring out elaborate descriptive results. It was conducted through document and archival material analysis. Data was analysed using both latent and manifest content analyses, approaches ideal for qualitative investigations. The study was anchored on the theory of deliberative democracy with a focus on political participation of the youth in politics compared to older people. It was established in the study that indeed both youths and older people participate in politics albeit from different stand-points and for different objectives. The study also established that the differences in the two groups' participation in politics is influenced by among others; literacy, resourcefulness of individuals, desperation, poverty, fear, and patriarchal factors among others.
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Limited youth participation in political life is one of the prime challenges facing representative democracy the world-over. Democracy is only effective and meaningful if all the concerned parties are taken on board. However, that has not been the case as there have been discriminatory tendencies and practices of exclusion especially targeted at the youth. This is rampart in almost the entire continent of Africa.

In Africa and Zimbabwe in particular, a combination of high fertility rates and low life expectancy have led to the bulging of the youth cohort. The youth bulge has created challenges in the areas of politics and economics as the idle youth in terms of employment and social services, have often been seen as a ready pool of potential rebels and violence participants. The level of involvement in politics by youths is always lower than that of older people thus leading to a developing catastrophe of representation. What Zimbabwean political leaders may be failing to realise is that youth involvement is fundamental to guaranteeing all-encompassing involvement and protecting important political and democratic rights (Patrikios and Shephard, 2014, pp. 236-254). Because youths continue to be sidelined from formal political processes, they are likely to be excluded from getting elected into leadership positions and are also likely not to register and vote in crucial elections.

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