Gvt Heed Calls For Youth Commission, Participation, Involvement
Government has swiftly moved in to address numerous calls from the youths for the formation of the Youth Commission as well as their participation and involvement in different commissions that are constitutionally centred.
The move was necessitated by continued calls from the youth sector including a petition from a Kadoma-based author and youthful builder Believe Guta, who on 25 October 2018, wrote to the Parliament of Zimbabwe challenging the country’s Constitution on youth related issues with specific mention on Section 20 of the current Constitution.
However, weeks after the petition, parliament moved swiftly through the Youth, Indigenization and Economic Empowerment portfolio committee and rolled out consultative meeting in all provinces to establish whether the youths have issues that needed to be addressed.
According to an official from Parliament, from all the consultative meetings carried, it was evident that the youths expressed their desire to have Section 20 of the current Constitution amended to clearly give rights to what the youths are supposed to be getting, not objectives.
Addressing members of the Zanu PF Youth League Second National Assembly held at the party headquarters in the capital last week, President Emmerson Mnangagwa revealed that his administration was ready to increase national Assembly size by adding 10 more seats that will be given to youths, bringing the total number of Assembly seats to 280.
“My administration is open to increasing the national assembly size and set aside 10 seats for the youths, bringing the number of assembly seats to 280,” said President Mnangagwa.
Mnangagwa went on to challenge the youths to drive aspiration of the second Republic before giving a stern warning to corrupt individuals, indicating that an investigation committee had been set up within the party to investigate allegations of corruption.
Commenting on the swift move by government to address youth issues, Legal expert Dr James Tsabora said it is very encouraging to note that we have an understanding government that can lower its ear and listen to what its future leaders, the youths are saying.
“I really want to salute our government for taking no time to try and look at issues that the youths have been raising. However it takes youths with bravery like Guta to petition the country’s supreme law making body. It’s a clear indication that we have future leaders among our youths.
Dr Tsabora added, “The fact that consultative meetings on such issues have been happening around the country show that we have a listening government. As I have always said, Section 20 of the Constitutions creates platform for national policy but not constitutional right. It obligates the government to create a national policy. He added. I hear there are some developments to this issue, but it has to be made clear whether the developments are towards objectives or rights, It has to be clear from the word go.”
Speaking on the same issues National Association of Youth Organizations (NAYO) programmes manager MacDonald Munyoro said as an organization that champions youth causes, they are happy to hear that there has been a positive move in as far as recognition of youths is concerned, especially what the President said recently regarding additional seats that will be meant for youths.
“As an organization that represents the youth constituency, the move by the relevant portfolio committee come as sweet music in our ears. The announcement by the President to have more seats added comes as an icing on the cake. We will keep pushing for the recognition of the youths. Actually we need to make section 20 of the Constitution start recognizing us and work in our favour as youths. But definitely, we need to have it amended,” said Munyoro.