Pupurai Togarepi Youth Matters
NEXT week all roads will lead to Matabeleland South where Zanu-PF, led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, will have its Annual National People’s Conference, an opportune time to take stock, reflect and plan for the future.
We are aware that since last year so much has happened, we have engaged the world, with our leader taking the lead in ensuring that doors that have been shut during days of isolation are opened and in so doing he is neither looking West nor East but is looking everywhere to put the country on the map again and put it on a recovery path.
This is no mean taks, but then it has to be done if we are to cure more than two decades of negativity and economic bleeding.
The wound is big and it will take time to heal, but it is clear that wound is starting to heal, thanks to the pragmatist that is President Mnangagwa. We say to the youths of Zimbabwe, worry not because joy is coming. The sun is rising and shining on Zimbabwe. Youths need to be counted in the economic struggle and the time is now.
Everything has been put in place and is fortunately on course, never mind the doomsayers and naysayers who wish nothing but ill on Zimbabwe.
The President has been engaging with everyone, young or old, rich or poor and yes even those in the opposition who nonetheless feign radicalism just to waylay their supporters.
In spite of the temporary harsh economic conditions that are prevailing and which are being addressed by fine-tuning economic fundamentals, we have witnessed an opening of the democratic space with Zimbabweans enjoying universal freedoms. Unfortunately, some in the opposition are abusing the new dispensation’s call for progress.
The major takeaway from this for the youths is that we have a listening President, who no matter how young or old, no matter your station in life he is ready to listen, thus a listening President who puts the interests of the people first before even his.
Now from that attribute, we would like the entirety of the National People’s Conference delegates next week start to follow the example that has been set by the President.
As the Youth League we believe the party should direct Government, for a government is born from the party and in that vein we would like to ask for a place in the sun for the youths who despite accounting for 60 percent live on the economic fringes excluded from major economic activities only being used by clowns in the opposition as purveyors of violence and as campaigners with nothing to live on.
But that has to change, on that front we implore our National People’s Conference to make sure that at the end of the conference resolutions would have been put in place to ensure that every ministry has a youth desk for virtual inclusion.
Gone are the days when the youths were simple bystanders, marginalised and only remembered as an afterthought, now is the time for inclusion with special consideration to realities reflected in demographic patterns.
The youths are the future and we have to set an example through their inclusion in vital sectors whether security services, mining, agriculture, health or social, the time for the youths to take ownership is now for the future is now and here.
As an example we, as the Youth League we would like to see each ministry having a youth desk so that when youths want assistance or inclusion they just approach that desk and have their problems attended to.
Currently, Government is downsizing farms and also through the Land Commission smoking out multiple farm owners, for us this is time for the youths to be elevated so as to ensure that they too benefit from the land that many a hero died for. If anything, the youths should benefit first before anyone else does because when the land reform exercise was carried out in 2000 most could not qualify to benefit because of age.
Apart from the land downsizing and other downstream benefits such as farming, the youths who do not have collateral that most banks demand upfront also want to be included in Government programmes such as the Command Agriculture facility.
We are aware that there are vast mineral deposits in Zimbabwe. Our call is, therefore, for the National People’s Conference through the leadership of the party to direct that the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development establishes a desk for the youths and also come up with a legislative framework that protects youths from exploitation by political opportunists.
Our hope is that the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development ensures that the youths easily get mining claims, that land that is underutilised is given to youths with the zeal to treat farming as a business.
There are thousands of mining claims that are lying idle or are underutilised because of a lack of tools and other equipment necessary to ensure productivity. The requirements of the youths in this regard are by no means expensive but affordable and the ministry should come up with a policy to ensure youths are equiped and mechanised to economically exploit the abundant mineral resources.
The same call also goes to all ministries, which should listen to the youths’ call for their participation in the socio-economic development of our great country.
We need inclusion in the energy, tourism and environment sectors. In fact, we need inclusion in everything because the youths have the energy and will most certainly avail various skills acquired from world-class institutions and ensure that the Vision 2030 of making Zimbabwe a middle income country becomes a reality.