By Wellington Makonese
The establishment of a youth quota through Parliament’s Proportional Representation has been lauded by young people as clear evidence of the Second Republic’s inclusive approach to governance.
The 2023 General Elections will see Zimbabwe reaching an unprecedented milestone since independence as ten National Assembly seats are set to be occupied by youths under the Proportional Representation, referred to as the youth quota.
Youth organisations commended political players for the development which comes through Constitutional Amendment Bill Number 2 that was passed by law makers together with the extension of the Women’s proportion of 60 seats.
“The ten seats are very important because it shows that there is the political will to hear youth voices in policy formulation. but we would like to encourage the youth to not only wait for the quota but be proactive in communities,” said Shingirai Chikazhe; Executive Director National Junior Councils Association of Zimbabwe.
The Zimbabwe Youth Council believes more responsibility on young people’s shoulders is equally critical for the realisation of national development goals, as explained by the Programmes Manager Zimbabwe Youth Council, Lungani Zwangobani
“Ten is just a step, but I think we should remind ourselves that we have a large population. We need to be responsible as we look to Vision 2030 to improve our economy to an upper middle income class,” he explained.
While speaking at the Launch of ZANU PF victory celebrations this Saturday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa reiterated the Second Republic’s inclusive stance on national development, touching on the historical role played by youths.
“Our heritage and our independence can and should be preserved by the youth, we fought the struggle at youthful ages. So the young people have an obligation to preserve this country and its resources and interests, we should never ever sale our birth right for trinkets,” noted the President.
Zimbabwe has a predominantly youth population and under the Constitution of Zimbabwe, these are people between the ages of 15 and 35.
The Second Republic has also made deliberate economic empowerment steps for young people, including establishment of the Empower Bank where youths can access financing and engage in affirmative action programmes.