By Tendai Mugabe
President Mnangagwa says his Government has set the country on a robust economic recovery path and challenged youths to be actively involved in economic programmes aimed at realising Vision 2030.
The vision seeks to transform the economy into an upper middle class with a per capita income of US$3 500 by the year 2030.
The President said it was disheartening that youths appeared to be taking a back-seat when it comes to the country’s economic affairs, yet the new Government and the party had taken a policy position that economics should take priority ahead of politics.
Addressing the Zanu-PF National Youth Assembly at the party headquarters in Harare yesterday, the President said leaders must walk the talk in defending party policies and Government programmes.
“While we have, as a party, declared that we prioritise economic programmes, it is disheartening, greatly disappointing and totally unacceptable that the youth league is invisible with regards to mobilising and organising its constituency for full participation in the economic affairs of the country as mandated by the party constitution.
“We must constantly hear you loudly. In addition, as Government we are moving with speed to implement devolution of Government power, thereby promoting development and growth for provincial economies.
“What is your role when that power has been devolved to the provinces? It was our expectation that the youth league by now should have organised party youths from branch, district, up to the provincial levels to identify economic prospects within their localities and initiate sustainable economic projects.
“It is unacceptable and a misnomer that the youth league is mute when it comes to the economic development trajectory of our country.
“The future belongs to the young people yet you as the party youth leadership are lethargic in your approach. This must stop and stop forthwith. I want you to become loud. We can have one or two provinces that are quiet, but not all provinces.”
On Vision 2030 and the role of young people in promoting party policies and programmes, President Mnangagwa said: “As you are aware, my Government has embarked on a modernisation programme and industrialisation agenda in a bid to leap frog our country’s development towards the attainment of Vision 2030. It is our expectation as a party that you, the youth league, run with this vision. You must promote reforms and development and stability, which we seek to achieve.
“In recent past we have seen calculated plans by our detractors to destabilise and derail the progress the country has made to date. It is the youth league of the party, which must defend, articulate and advance the policies of the party that are intricately linked with those of the majority of our people. Defend the interests of the people wholeheartedly. As the youth league you should by now have clear programmes and strategies that outline how this will be achieved from a party youth perspective.”
“The phase we have entered as a party demands that you here as leaders of the youth league from various levels honestly and critically introspect and interrogate the degree to which you have worked towards the fulfilment of the aims and objectives of the youth league,” he said.
“This a constitutional mandate that should never be taken lightly if we are to modernise and build an inter-generational party that transcends the present and last for posterity. In the Second Republic there is no room for leaders more so in the party who pay lip service to party and Government programmes. Leaders must walk the talk.”
President Mnangagwa also briefed the youths on his recent meeting with the business people, which saw prices of basic goods that were spiralling coming down.
He said the price hikes were fuelled by social media and urged Zanu-PF youths to be active on such platforms correcting the misinformation.