Rethinking Youth Civic Engagement and Political Participation in Zimbabwe

Darlington F. Muyambwa


This article explores power shifts in Zimbabwe post November 2017’s military assisted transition and its bearing on youth engagement in civic and political participation. The article further discusses youth engagement and participation as crucial in a country that has a significantly high youth population which has been disfranchised by political upheavals that have resulted in a polarised society with multiple socio-economic challenges. The article shares interventions that can be appropriate in scaling up youth agency in the making of a new political culture for Zimbabwe. Although political continuities such as intimidation and unabated state control of the public media are visible, there are also emerging opportunities for improved youth participation in civic and political processes such as creation of new spaces for youth engagement and renewed interest in political participation amongst youth both as candidates and voters. Acknowledging that Zimbabwe stands in a space where it can either consolidate the role of the youth or further obscure them from political participation, the article makes submissions on how the emerging political culture where youth are taking centre stage can be sustained if focus is given on issues rather than partisan interests.  

Keywords: Zimbabwe, Youth, Participation, Civic Engagement, Power

Darlington F. Muyambwa, Youth Advisor, Youth Empowerment and Transformation Trust, Email:

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