Maun youth speak on voter apathy
Maun youth speak on voter apathy

Voter apathy amongst the youth is said to be at an all time high, with North West District Council Chairperson, Duncan Enga warning it needs to be addressed urgently.

In the district’s four constituencies, 74, 927 people have registered to vote in this year’s General Elections (Maun East 17, 972; Maun West 20, 331; Ngami 19, 227 and Okavango 17, 397). The youth are believed to make up a small proportion of that total.

In the last supplementary voter registration, the turn out was expressed as ‘less than satisfactory’.

In light of this, at the council’s request, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) collaborated with different stakeholders to sensitise the public on the importance of elections.

But are the youth really uniformed about elections or is their apathy down to disillusion.

The Voice’s FRANCINAH BAAITSE-MMANA took to the streets of Maun to get a first-hand account from some of the tourist town’s younger generation.

Keamogetse J. Mokgatlhe, 27

I am far from my home village.

I would have wanted to vote in Mochudi, but because I never got free time to travel for registration, I will miss the opportunity to choose a representative of my choice.

Maun is only my work place and I don’t really know the political representative well enough to vote for them.

Amos Matshelo, 23

I have not registered because I don’t see the need to.

Young people are in the streets, frustrated – why should they vote for people who do not care about their welfare!

Crime is high because of this kind of frustration and desperation by young people.

Government is talking about youth programmes but it seems they were tailored for certain individuals.

You try your luck as a nobody, you get rejected.

But our ballots are counted and ‘much important’ to build a government.

I refuse to be used in that regard!

Ditsapelo Juliet Lekgoa, 30

We feel our votes will not make any difference.

When we vote, we do that with the belief that it will bring positive change in our lives.

But we keep getting the same empty promises over and over again.

Politicians are only good at talking but implementation is zero.

After voting them in, it is no longer about us, the voter, but them.

They go in there to serve their own interests and enrich themselves further when we are out in the cold and helpless.

Can Botswana politics move a step up so that young people will feel the need to make a choice?

The way I see it, all politicians are the same, opportunists who don’t care about who put them there when they decide to cross the floor with our votes.

They don’t know how much we feel cheated when they do that!

Arateng Herbet Tabane, 28

Why should I vote amidst this political confusion? Which party can one trust and vote for? Personally I am confused.

You follow one politician, making promises and the next day he or she is standing on the podium and praising the very party and policies he was criticising the other day!

They are just like chameleons, turncoats for lack of a better word.

I have taken a personal decision to watch this game and I am not going to vote unless they start taking us seriously.

Lerato Taolo, 24

I was busy knocking from house to house looking for a job, so I could not find time to register.

Getting a job is what is most important for me right now.

As a single mother of an 18 months old baby, my interest is in what I will dress him with, what we will eat and to help my mother be more comfortable.

I have watched my mother wait in the long queues to vote and yet nobody cared to find her a job, or a better structure to shelter her.

I have applied to tertiary schools but I have not been admitted.

I have been home, next to my mom and siblings and our lives have never been changed by our mother’s ballots.

So I don’t think mine will be a miracle ballot!

Celistine Lekhane, 25

We are ever busy. We work from 6am to 6pm and during weekends, so we never really have time to register.

Even if time was there, I am simply not encouraged.

Politicians are not trustworthy.

They keep giving us empty promises.