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President to proclaim date for harmonised elections soon.

President Mnangagwa yesterday announced that he will soon proclaim the date for harmonised elections following the gazetting of the final Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) delimitation report, while Government is ready to welcome back Zimbabweans from South Africa.

The report sets the boundaries for wards and constituencies to be used in the upcoming harmonised elections.

The proclamation by the President follows the presentation of the final report by the electoral body on February 17, pursuant to which, the report should be gazetted within 14 days.

In December last year, ZEC presented its preliminary delimitation report to President Mnangagwa which was tabled before Parliament and referred back to the elections Commission for further consideration.

Addressing thousands of youths during the National Youth Day commemorations in Lupane yesterday, President Mnangagwa said he will soon make a proclamation of the election date.

“The delimitation report has now been gazetted. I will soon be making a proclamation of the harmonised elections date. Meanwhile, I would like to highlight that my Government is ready to receive our citizens from South Africa who wish to come home,” he said.

“To date, we are already seeing many trickling back home and setting up their businesses. Come home, ekhaya, kumusha, we are ready to receive all our citizens.”

Zimbabweans living in South Africa under the Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (ZEP) are due to return home this year when this facility expires.

Government has pledged to help the citizens so that they can get home with their possessions and start-up here.

The special permit was granted to nearly 170 000 Zimbabweans working, studying and living in South Africa but expires at the end of June this year. A fair number have or are in the process of obtaining other work permits so they can stay, but a lot will have to leave.

The President implored youths to vote for Zanu PF and observe peace as the country heads toward elections.

“As per the requirement of the Constitution, our country will soon be holding our harmonised elections. As peace-loving people, let us continue to guard and protect the stability we are enjoying in our nation by saying no to violence and rejecting those bent on causing mayhem, turmoil, and insecurity in our nation,” he said.

“The majority of you, our young people will be voting in these elections, some for the first time. I challenge you to exercise this sacred right, responsibly, aware that it was paid for by the blood of many sons and daughters of Zimbabwe, some of whom were your age.”

President Mnangagwa said the democratic right to vote is a right that must never be taken lightly.

“It was not given on a silver platter. Your individual and collective votes as a demographic group must defend, protect and guard the independence, sovereignty and national interests of our motherland, Zimbabwe.”

The President implored youths to register to vote and mobilise for a resounding Zanu PF victory.

“Zanu PF is the party that brought about independence. It is the only party with policies, programmes and projects to lift many of our people out of poverty into prosperity,” he said.

“It is the only party with the vision for the future. This must be at the centre of your conversations as the various youth groups.”

President Mnangagwa said the Government led by the revolutionary party, Zanu PF remains committed to facilitating the youth access to relevant spaces in the body politic of the country.

“Our promise to broaden your participation in Government remains high on our agenda. The youth seats in Parliament and their appointment into strategic positions in both the revolutionary party, Zanu PF and within Government are assured,” he said.

The President said under the Second Republic, Government is not going back on its commitment to empower young talented people in the country.

“Your multi-faceted roles as entrepreneurs, innovators, and quick adaptors to the use of science, technology and innovation must see you participating fully in mainstream economic activities. If we remain united, peaceful and hardworking, nothing is impossible,” he said.

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