via Youth hold key to the future for Zimbabwe April 7, 2014 by Elima Audrey Mandaza
There is no stage in life as powerful as youth. The youth are young, energetic, fresh minded, full of ambition and drive. Africa is the most youthful planet with an average age of 20 and our beautiful country Zimbabwe is no exception. It becomes obvious therefore that if there is anyone that needs to talk about the future and well-being of Zimbabwe, the youth need to be an integral part of that conversation.
Even the current government in all its faults has seen the crucial role played by the youths in national discourse and development. In a meeting intended for youth one leader in the current regime said of the youth and the future of the country: “It is my sincere hope that you will take over from where we are now and make sure that Zimbabwe continues to uphold the goals that were set by our leaders at the attainment of Independence in 1980.”
He said it was imperative that youths benefit from the country mineral wealth and that Zimbabweans must organise themselves and exploit the resources for majority benefit. What a sham statement since the current regime ha so far reneged on its mandate regarding the youths seeking instead to use the Zimbabwean young for their material and self aggrandizement. Youths have been turned into weapons of violence and subjects of ridicule.
In the ancient Mayan tribe of South America, influential young men and women were involved in all the discussions by the fireside that were for the benefit of the tribe and village. They were treated with the same respect and seriousness as their older counterparts. Sadly, in our culture the youth are often sidelined and in more recent times, we have seen them often abused and exploited by people and organisations pursuing their own personal agendas. We all remember too well how the current regime has indoctrinated the youths into submission in the so called ‘Border Gezi’ youth initiatives.
This is in direct contrast to the initiatives that are being propagated by ZUNDE which aim at treating the youths as well-meaning sections of the country. ZUNDE’s youth development policies include inculcating self esteem and building youths to prepare for roles that would be beneficial to the overall development of the country in the long run.
Youth involvement in policy making therefore needs to be seriously taken into cognisance as the youth offer sustainability for the future. Empowering the country through its youth will ensure continuity for years to come and it is imperative that Zimbabwe leverages the talent and energy of its youth to create dramatically higher levels of prosperity, economic, social and political stability. Young people are agents of their own change and if we are able to mobilize them we can be assured of progressive and resilient involvement that will help shape and rehabilitate our country in every aspect.
Zimbabweans United for Democracy (ZUNDE) offers the perfect platform for the youth to be adequately engaged. We are calling on all Zimbabwean youths at home and abroad to step forward and be an active part of the change that we seek in Zimbabwe. The time has come for your ideas, demands and laments to be heard and not just heard, but acted upon and your full potential realised. The youth hold the future for Zimbabwe in their hands, hearts, minds and school and laptop bags. At ZUNDE our youth with not be those spent forty-something old man from the war, the word YOUTH will mean exactly that, YOUTH. As we say in ZUNDE: “We don’t claim to know everything but we want to create a tradition of a consulting government based on enduring FAIR values which are Fairness, Accountability, Inclusiveness and Respect’.