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Zimbabwe Youth: We Are Not Political Tools

FILE: Some youth once affiliated to Zanu PF talking about issues affecting them.

Some youth in Mashonaland West province say there is need for young people to occupy influential positions of authority in government if Zimbabwe is to realize missed ideals of the country’s liberation struggle of the 1970s.

Some of the youth claim that the current leadership is insensitive to the needs of Zimbabwe’s young people, a situation that has led to the nation’s failure to implement the ideals of liberation struggle, which include one-person-one vote and equitable redistribution of the land.

Twenty-five year-old Chinhoyi-based Delight Benge, who holds a university degree, claims that the current government and Zanu PF leadership has continued with oppressive systems that were political pillars of Rhodesia, once led by Ian Douglas Smith.

This includes what Benge calls oppressive laws like the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, Public Order and Security Act or POSA and several others that are almost a flip side of the repealed Law and Order Maintenance Act of 1960, which infringed on people's freedom of association, assembly, movement and expression.

This particular law was replaced by the feared POSA that curtails the same fundamental rights.

Benge says the only way out of this is to vote enmasse for a new government.

Another local youth, Takunda Madzana, says most young people in Zimbabwe have over the years been used as political tools by some parties.

As a result, he believes that they can only play a critical role in bringing social, economic and political transformation in the country if they turn down undemocratic ideologies of most parties.

Persuade Chirinda, concurs, noting that most Zimbabweans feel that they are being oppressed by the ruling elite to exercise their rights just exactly like what happened under Rhodesian rulers.

Chirinda says all rights are only on paper as the government does not want to implement certain provisions of Zimbabwe’s constitution, widely seen as one of the well-drafted supreme laws in Africa.

He is convinced that the youth can bring positive change in the country if they get into state institutions.

Most critical Zimbabwean government posts are occupied by Zanu PF activists, some of them drawn from the national army, the feared Central Intelligence Organization spy network, and other state security organs.

Banket-based youth, Patrick Nyamweda, also believes that youth should be involved in policy formulation in order to cater for their needs.

According to Benge, this is not enough as youth should always refuse to be abused by political parties.

Zimbabwean youth constitute more than 60 percent of the total population. Most of them are currently unemployed due to the country’s current serious social, economic and political problems.

Report on Youth, Independence And Politics Filed By Arthur Chigoriwa
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