Government will introduce a National Youth Bill during the First Session of the Tenth Parliament to address the rapidly rising ‘epidemic’ of drug and substance abuse, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.
This development follows a significant increase in the number of young individuals who have become addicted to drug and substance abuse.
Delivering his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Tuesday during the first sitting of Parliament, President Mnangagwa said the National Youth Bill would provide mechanisms to facilitate mainstreaming of youths in social, economic and political spaces as an attempt to fight drug abuse.
“Government is deeply concerned about the increase in drug and substance abuse, especially among the youth. Measures to tame the scourge by strengthening relevant institutions for effective coordination and programming of activities, will be instituted. Over and above this, the Government is developing the National Youth Bill, which will be considered during this Session,” Mnangagwa said.
The Bill will provide for mechanisms to facilitate mainstreaming of the youth in social, economic and political spaces, as well as the sustenance of Vocational Training Centres as hubs for local community development.”
The president also challenged the private sector to play a part in support of the government’s ongoing initiatives for youth development and empowerment.
President Mnangagwa also commended the critical role played by women in nation building, citing that their efforts must not be overlooked.
“Meanwhile, women play a critical role in nation building and their contribution to economic growth should never be overlooked. Equally, viable and profitable Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises have a far-reaching impact on our economy as a whole,” he said, adding that the Small and Medium Enterprises Act will be reviewed.
The president added the Zimbabwe Media Commission Act and the Broadcasting Services Amendment Bill will be reviewed and amended accordingly so that Community Radio Stations can operate well.