Source: The Herald
Youth representatives say Government should come up with economic empowerment programmes to benefit young Zimbabweans. They said as the country celebrates 32 years of independence, it was important that the youths are considered in all programmes.

In separate interviews, the youth leaders said there was need for the youths across the political divide to speak with one voice.

They hailed the role played by liberation fighters to usher in independence. Zanu-PF secretary for Lands in the Youth Wing, Cde Anastancia Ndlovu, said most youths had not benefited from empowerment programmes. "It is imperative that as we celebrate 32 years of Independence, Government prioritises creation of meaningful empowerment opportunities for the youths recognising the role the youths can play in economic development," she said.

"It is unfortunate that one of the things the devilish illegal sanctions have done to our country is denying the Zimbabwean youths their right to employment."

Cde Ndlovu who is the legislator for Shurugwi South, said most youths had not benefited from the land reform programme. She urged Government to repossess unproductive farms and allocate them to the youths.

Zanu-PF youth wing secretary for security, Cde John Mushayi, urged the youths to unite against neo colonialism. He said it was the youths' responsibility to protect the gains of the liberation struggle.

"All the youths should unite and guard jealously what our forefathers fought for. They played their part in bringing us independence but we should keep watch that we don't give the country back to our country's enemies," Cde Mushayi said.

MDC-T Youth Assembly secretary general, Mr Promise Mkwananzi said: "The youths should speak with one voice irrespective of political affiliation like what women did at Copac. They spoke with one voice in their demand for a quota system and they got it.

"On the economic front, the youths are yet to benefit because Government hasn't come up with a comprehensive all encompassing youth policy that satisfies the youths. We want the youths to unite and take leadership positions while at the same time condemning violence," he said.

MDC Youth Assembly chairman Mr Gideon Mandaza said there was need for the youths to be consulted before empowerment programmes are introduced.

"We are in agreement as the youth leadership across the political divide that Government has been coming up with programmes without consulting us.

"Government can't prescribe what kind of empowerment we need as the youths without consulting us. Government should first ask us what kind of empowerment we want. We don't want programmes to be imposed on us," Mr Mandaza said.

This year's theme has been dubbed, "Indigenisation and Empowerment for Social and Economic Transformation".


Children First Child Advisory Committee Members at the Youth Initiative Program launch in Harare


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