THE MDC Youth Assembly has called for the creation of a standalone youth ministry to adequately address the challenges faced by the youth in the country.
This comes after President Emmerson Mnangagwa placed the youth affairs portfolio under the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation, headed by renowned Olympic swimmer, Kirsty Coventry.
In a statement, the party youths said under the current set up government was not prioritising youth development issues.
“The compounding of youth issues under the Ministry of Sports, Arts and Youth Affairs under a swimming Minister Kirsty Coventry demonstrate the lack of respect for young people of Zimbabwe,” said Brian Dube, the party`s secretary for Information and Publicity.
“The young people of Zimbabwe stand out as the ones most affected by the current state of affairs and are greatly affected by unemployment, high costs of education, marginalization and no access to means of production.
“A stand-alone Ministry for Youth Upliftment, Development and Empowerment is in our view the best way to prioritize the most affected and vulnerable group of the population”.
Dube argued that the portfolios should not have been bunched together as they were not connected.
“Within the youth sector, we already have various and unique clusters that require special attention and prioritization, such as young women, students, young people with disabilities, vendors, artisanal miners, as well as unemployed graduates,” he said.
“Our issues cannot be bunched together with sports and arts issues as they are not in any way connected to sporting and arts, but are serious economic, industrial and production issues”.
Dube added that while the party appreciates “that young people are also largely involved in sports and arts” in their view youth issues “are broader and much more complicated to be driven from a sports and arts perspective, especially in the hands of a swimmer”.
He went on to say: “The young people of Zimbabwe are not an entertainment, dancing or swimming cluster, but a serious and productive generation that needs connection to the access to wealth and means of production”.
Dube said President Mnangagwa`s ministerial deployment showed that the ruling party had no solution to the problems bedeviling the country.