By Jill Mangachena and Clive Tinashe Mapuranga
CHITUNGWIZA youths engaged in peaceful discussions on political issues that affect them during a three-day training workshop held at the Chitungwiza Publicity Centre.
The workshop, on Youth Political Leadership Training, which was organised by Chitungwiza Community Development Network (CCDN) was held in preparation of the 2018 general elections.
Several youths from various political parties in Zimbabwe were trained on becoming objective leaders both politically and socially in order to build a better socio-economic environment, thus a better Zimbabwe.
Among the parties present were ruling party ZANU PF youths, MDC-T of former prime minister in the GNU of 2009 Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, PDP of former Finance Minister and lawyer Mr Tendai Biti, NPP of former Vice President Dr T Mujuru and Transfrom Zimbabwe of Jacob Ngarivhumwe.
The workshop facilitator, Nyasha Sengai, from Source International took the participants through various rights provided for in the the Constitution of The Republic of Zimbabwe Amendment (NO .20) and asked the youths to outline their grievances pertaining the respect of these rights by either authorities or by fellow citizens.
“I want everyone to take a very good look at this booklet (Constitution), just pick any right that u feel it’s been violated by any one, because whoever was doing so was taking advantage that you haven’t known and read the supreme law of this country, but this time around they have failed, get up and stand up for your rights” she said to the youths.
Most of the youths had concerns regarding the rights to privacy, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association as well as the rights to make political choices freely, campaign freely and peacefully for a political party or cause.
The youths who raised these issues were concerned that these rights were prone to abuse mostly by authorities. They pointed out that these rights were not just privileges but also liberties a citizen should enjoy by virtue of being a Zimbabwean citizen.
CCDN’s Programs Officer, Admire Mutize, said, “programs such as these help the youth to be better informed so that they do not engage in politics merely as a game but to take politics seriously because the nature of their political engagement will determine the Zimbabwean environment they shape. These programmes also help to inform the youth to be better and responsible citizens who know what they want rather than following blindly.”
The youths were also taught to be tolerant of other political parties they are not affiliated with, and also to practice peaceful politics.
“This will also shape the way we practice politics in Zimbabwe for if we continue to be violent in political areas it will become a norm for our political engagement of which we should all practice peaceful politics no-matter which political party you belong to,” said Mutize.
“We should all have one major goal in mind that is for the good of our country, Zimbabwe” said Nyasha Sengayi
Sengayi encouraged youths to be critical thinkers, also able to come up with sustainable project ideas so that they can become economically empowered and financially independent in order to develop a better Zimbabwe.
“Economic independence and an efficient source of income for every youth will go a long way in abating corruption, violence and other form of crime dominant in our country,” Sengai said.
Sengai cocluded the workshop by saying: “It is the youths’ responsibility to shape the kind of Zimbabwe they want. Everyone should be engaged in politics for it is the basis of everyday life.”