By Tatenda Choto
Chitungwiza Community Development Network (CCDN) held a 3 day grassroots youth political leadership training workshop at Chitungwiza Publicity Centre with 30 youth leaders from ZANU PF, MDC-T and NPP from the 17th to the 19th of May.
The workshop which was facilitated by Nyasha Sengayi from the Source International ran under the theme “promoting inclusive and informed youth political engagement ahead of 2018 general elections”.
The workshop aimed at promoting discourse of good governance, youth and issue based political participation, peace building, leadership and organisation for social change towards 2018.
The participants were drawn from ward 1 and 8 of St Mary’s Constituency as they share a common infrastructure.
The first day of the workshop of the workshop covered issues to deal with personal and leadership development in which participants were exposed to topics such as Who am I as a leader, My Rights, My responsibility to participate and building citizen movements.
The second phase of the workshop was on mapping our advocacy and covered issues to deal with governance and participants managed to highlight the concepts of good governance and how best to attain such status in our communities.
The participants engaged on a community trip before embarking on a community advocacy map in which they cooperated the map of the Chitungwiza they wanted. Their combined piece of architect designed a Chitungwiza town map of a first world standard with functioning roads, own electricity own source of water and functioning health facilities despite their adjoined political orientations.
The activity showed that despite them emerging from different political spectrums a functioning society was what they all dreamed.
The final day majored on campaigns on which the facilitator gave a broad description and the difference between a campaign and an advocacy to the participants. The facilitator embraced on a number of campaign tactics to include messaging, road shows, posters, branding, using celebrities to support your cause, petitions and taking stunts to attract the audience.
The facilitator exonerated on the need for the campaigns to be safe and legal to avoid any obstacles along the way.
The youth were given an opportunity to decide on the way forward as to which campaign they would want to embark on towards as the youth of Chitungwiza. The youth suggested that they would embark on a peace campaign for the community to endure in the fourth coming 2018 general election.
The participants applauded the organisers for creating such a platform for the youth political leadership in Chitungwiza. “I am impressed by the discipline we managed to maintain as youth political leaders emerging from the different political parties”, said National Peoples Party representative Tashinga Mapininga.
“Platforms like this end catastrophically as some representatives would take certain issues personal leading to violence which did not occur at this event”, he added.
“The platform was very accommodative and well facilitated when everyone is given an equal chance to respond and give contributions without any annoying interruptions,” said Moses who was representing ZANU PF.
“This helped in the progress of the event to run smoothly without politically esteemed arguments but society building statements meant to up lift our community in peace”, she said.
Representing the MDC T Simon Majoni said he was pleased by the level of maturity displayed by the youth of Chitungwiza whom he said had set an example to the nation.
“I was not expecting such discipline for the 3 day workshop and I think this sends a message to all political leaders across the nation that the youth can no longer be used as weapons of destruction against each other rather they are community champions” said Majoni.