Zimbabwe’s youth must wake up

via Zimbabwe’s youth must wake up – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 12, 2015

OUR youths must take the responsibility of creating their future or Zanu PF will create it for them.

Vince Musewe

It was only the other day when I observed some ragtag youths in Highfield, Harare, having a meeting under a tree all togged up in Zanu PF political paraphernalia. Indigenise and Empower was written at the back of their dirty yellow faded T-shirts, as they sat in the township’s dusty heat.

They looked dirty and drunk and I could overhear them discussing the forthcoming Zanu PF conference in December, and who they were going to nominate to be elected to represent their ward.

I could not help but feel sorry for their lot. Their physical condition clearly showed the stresses of poverty and joblessness. Most of them are unemployed with no hope of a better future. Our youths are a ticking bomb, who are relying on alcohol and cough mixture to soothe their pain of the economic policies of a dictatorship, that has destroyed their self-esteem and potential.

They fail to realise that they remain mere political pawns who are regularly used to fight petty succession battles in an organisation that has no hope of delivering a better future for them. They are political condoms, who are soon discarded when their dirty job is done. How sad.

This has been the fate of many youths in Zimbabwe, who continue to be abused not only by Zanu PF, but by other opposition political parties to fight silly battles from which they derive absolutely no benefit at all. They are complicit delinquents in their own poverty and lack of progress in life.

Incidentally the other day I was listening to Oliver Mtukudzi’s song that says “wake up, open your eyes” and this surely applies to all our youths who remain apathetic in asserting themselves as heirs to Zimbabwe.

I also learnt the other day that more youths turned up at an alcohol block party than at an organised protest event. This means that our youths would rather get drunk than work and organise themselves to change their circumstances. These are the signs of the times we live in, where everyone, including our business sector, has become part of the problem. The recent oversubscription by the business sector of a Zanu PF fundraising dinner, while they retrench thousands of workers clearly shows that they are now part of the problem.

There is absolutely no national pride and no sense of responsibility at all. We, Zimbabweans, hate our country so much that we have given up and neglected it while we have left our fate to charlatans within Zanu PF who don’t have any intention whatsoever of changing the status quo.

We then have Patrick Zhuwao, the novice minister responsible for youth empowerment, who believes that youths who have no clue or credentials of how to run businesses should have access to other people’s money. We are putting our youths at tremendous risk by promising to lend them money to start businesses in an economy that is imploding and has decreasing disposable incomes. How they will pay back the loans, if at all, remains a mystery.

I encourage our youths to be very careful because they are being set up for failure. Our youths must create their future or Zanu PF will create it for them.

I just don’t know where Zanu PF gets its people from. In the less than 60 days in which Zhuwao has taken over the empowerment portfolio, he has done more damage to the Zimbabwe brand and increased the perceived country risk than any other minister. The sad reality is that he actually thinks he is right. In my opinion, he should be gagged.

Youth empowerment is an important issue that needs to be taken seriously by all, but we will not create a sustainable economy or society if we take the reckless political rhetoric route on the issue. In addition, youth empowerment does not only include access to capital, but also includes the creation of jobs, access to information, freedom of speech and association and the opportunity for skills development and further study.

What we should be focusing on now is investing everything we have in reviving agriculture and industry compared to pouring money into youth start-up ventures that are most likely to fail.

I wish our youths would wake up and realise that Zimbabwe is on the brink and they can turn around things by demanding their freedoms back. South Africans continue to show us that no government is above the people when the people are organised.

Let me be very clear that I am not encouraging any violent uprising here because again, it is the youths that suffer. Instead, our youths must organise themselves into one powerful voice that says enough is enough. Zanu PF has failed to manage this economy and pouring more money from the IMF or from empowerment levies into a failed economy is stupidity.

What the country needs is new economic management and the establishment of a transitional economic body that rescues us from Zanu PF incompetence, greed and corruption.

Things are going to get worse before they get better and our youths are facing the danger of living an unproductive, short and brutish life. Nobody can oppress us without our consent and nobody can abuse us without our consent.

That is the psychology of empowerment we now need, and I encourage the multitudes of our hopeless youths, to stop fuelling stupid political battles and realise that their future it is in their hands.

Wake up, open your eyes!

●Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You may contact him on


  • comment-avatar
    Tjings 7 years ago

    Used as effluent by the affluent. Why keep a dog that doesnt bite!

  • comment-avatar
    Doris 7 years ago

    Never happen. These same youth from birth have been taught the law of entitlement. They talk of joblessness but have money for booze. They are not taught respect. They have never been made to understand the law of human decency. They have no pride in anything and will never make a success of their lives.

  • comment-avatar
    every hopeful 7 years ago

    The Youth of today have no pride in themselves or their country. just take a walk around the roads of NSST.

  • comment-avatar

    not only the youth must wake up.
    it would be fair to say that the entire zimbabwean society more or less accepts that there is nothing we can do to effect change.
    we should all wake up and embrace whatever small spaces we can find for change.