By Zanu-PF Youth League
The ZANU PF Youth League notes with great appreciation the passage of Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill No.2 of 2019 through Parliament on the 20th of April 2021. This is a welcome demonstration by our lawmakers of the growing confidence the lawmakers and the nation at large are willing to repose in young people.
Among other definite merits and highlights, Clause 11 the Bill succinctly prescribes the inclusion of Youth and Women in the National Assembly as a vehicle for their unfettered inclusion in national policy and decision-making organs, under the “Party List” Youth and Women’s Quota system.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr once said that one of the great liabilities of history is that whole nations fail to remain awake through great periods of social transformation. Today, His Excellency President Cde ED Mnangagwa’s great new dispensation challenges us to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenges of our time head on. Indeed, the 2nd Republic’s new ground-breaking narrative lays emphasis on the urgent need to afford young people opportunities to assume their role in society as responsible partners for progress, and not merely beneficiaries.
It is also heartening to observe that with passage of this Bill, which still awaits the Senate Vote and Presidential Assent, young people’s voices and ideas are set to gain enhanced traction in the national body politic, as they can also openly compete for other Parliamentary posts, and be considered under the Women’s Quota. Though we concede that more still needs to be done to cement young people’s inclusion, we acknowledge that by voting overwhelmingly in favour of the Bill, at 191 “Yes” votes to 22 “No” votes, Parliament of Zimbabwe has emphatically put a step forward in the right direction.
As we wait for the expansion of the Youth Quota to accommodate more Youth we heartily welcome the gesture to create a youth quota in the first place. This unprecedented endorsement of youth-based social and political capital is a refreshing first in Zimbabwe under the new dispensation. As young people, we are thrilled.
Having the youth as part of the decision-making matrix presages a rewarding experience for the entire nation unto posterity. By this gesture, we feel encouraged, our voice being valued, and having a positive impact on the national vision for prosperity.
As ZANU PF Youth League, we do therefore pledge to remain focused and disciplined, as we bring our fresh perspective, optimism, dynamism and enthusiasm to national development discourse. Thank you, Parliament of Zimbabwe.
The Youth League also wishes to place on record the need for current and future youth aged Members of Parliament to perform well in Parliament to not only vindicate the move to accommodate youth in Parliament but to protect the interests of the patriotic youth in both the legislative and executive arms of State. Our Youthful MPs must never forget that in Parliament their constituency extends beyond the statutory parliamentary constituencies but covers all youth of our Great Nation.
We similarly hope that the youth quota will not be used to elbow young women out of contention for roles as proportional representation MPs under the women’s quota or to elbow youth of all sexes from contesting as MPs under the normal parliamentary constituency roll.
Youth inclusion in policy and decision-making organs is key to the achievement of vision 2030!
For and On Behalf of the Youth League
Cadre Tendai Chirau
ZANU PF Acting Deputy Secretary for Youth Affairs in the Politburo