By NQOBANI NDLOVU
GWANDA youths have petitioned Parliament to push through a clause guaranteeing a 30% quota representation in the legislature to ensure full representation from local to national platforms.
In a petition to National Assembly speaker Jacob Mudenda dated August 31, the youths under the banner Community Youth Development Trust (CYDT), raised concern about lack of constitutional support for a youth quota.
CYDT chairperson Zanele Nyathi, in a letter accompanying the petition, said the lack of such a quota had created room for “further marginalisation of youths in critical decision-making spaces such as ward development committees to Parliament“.
“Therefore, it is against this background that on behalf of youths from Matabeleland South province we request your office to submit to Parliament the request to have a constitutionally supported youth quota that provides for at least 30% youth representation,” Nyathi’s letter reads in part.
“We also request an engagement between the parliamentary portfolio committee and the youths to further consolidate their submissions on the latter prior to finalisation of the amendments.
“Most people live in the rural areas and as such we beseech the parliamentary portfolio committee to make time and meet up with rural youths so that they also express their views in regard to the bill and the above-indicated request.”
One provision of the recently proposed constitutional amendment is the addition of 10 seats for youths in Parliament.
The CYDT in its petition argued this was not enough and demanded a 30% quota.
“Now, therefore, your petitioners beseech the Parliament of Zimbabwe to…protect the constitutionally guaranteed right for the youths to be fairly represented at all levels starting with district to national level platforms,” the petition read.
It added: “Promote youth ability to battle it alone during an electoral process — ensure Zec (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) set aside constituencies where youths are able to contest each other.
“This will see a significant increase of youth representation at parliament and local governance.”