THE National Association of Youth Organisations (Nayo) says 90% of youths in the country are unemployed, with universities and colleges churning out graduates that fail to secure jobs.
by VENERANDA LANGA
Nayo director, Misheck Gondo said the youth were concerned by the government’s failure to fulfil its 2013 electoral promise to provide 2,2 million jobs.
“Youths currently face the brunt of unemployment in Zimbabwe, educated and qualified, yet without decent jobs,” he said in a statement.
“Youth unemployment has reached catastrophic levels, with estimates at 90%, and owing to the youth bulge, youth have increasingly become disempowered and disengaged in national processes and are, thus, manipulated and exploited given their vulnerability.”
Gondo said his organisation was worried that universities across the country continued to churn out graduates onto the streets with no prospects of decent employment.
He said, with the ongoing social, political and economic unrest unfolding in Zimbabwe, the youths were mostly at the receiving end.
“Nayo condemns in the strongest terms the recent wave of police brutality, gross violations of constitutional rights of citizens and the increasing intimidation targeted at activists, church leaders and citizens participating in various movements,” he said.
“In different parts of the country, citizens have been arrested, most of whom are youths, for exercising their constitutional rights, this including juveniles. Police have responded to peaceful, non-violent and constitutional protests with force, brutality and impunity with the purpose of injecting fear in the citizenry and silencing them.”
Nayo-Africa is an umbrella body of 184 youth organisations in Zimbabwe.
Gondo said youth organisations witnessed children being teargassed, massive selective application of the law and arbitrary mass targeting of youths in communities such as Epworth.
He blasted partisan allocation of stands by the ruling party.
“Nayo noted with sadness the recent events in which government property is being distributed along partisan lines.
The recent allocation of stands to only Zanu PF youths (a section of youths) will not only act further to divide the already divided society, but it will also further reduce the level of confidence among young people in the body polity in charge of our political affairs, with selective application of development being exercised, a worrying phenomenon that needs to be condemned in totality,” Gondo said.
The youth group said this was against Section 20 of Zimbabwe’s Constitution, which points out the need for government youth programmes to be non-partisan and national in character.