Youths push for more parly seats

Youth activists say more parliamentary seats must be allocated to young people since they constitute the majority of the country`s population.

This follows the constitutional amendments proposed by the Zanu PF led government that will culminate in the scrapping of the concept of running mates in presidential elections and the extension of women’s quota system by another 10 years after the 2023 elections.

The ruling party is also proposing to allocate 10 parliamentary seats to young people.

In an interview with CITE, Jacob Lawrence Sedze, a Research and Advocacy Officer at Public Policy and Research Institute of Zimbabwe (PPRIZ) reiterated that youths constitute around 65% of the total population in Zimbabwe and deserve more representation in parliament.

 “It is very disappointing that we are only given 10 seats in Parliament, at least if we were given 20 seats as a start, we were going to greatly appreciate that,” said Sedze.

He added that the ten seats are not even a quarter of the seats in parliament and hence there is need to review this amendment and make sure that the parliamentarians join portfolios that will be beneficial to youths.

“10 seats are even far away from a quarter of total parliamentary seats. There is need to review this,” he told CITE.

“Those 10 youths who will make it in Parliament should then join important parliamentary portfolios like finance, mining, education and youth portfolio.”

Ruramai Mutimusakwa from the Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe (SCMZ) suggested that as the country is working towards promoting vision 2030, more young people must be roped in to push the vision.

“To start with ten seats are fine but they are very small as the youth consists of a larger Zimbabwean population we feel that if we start with ten that will be fine,” said Mutimusakwa.

He added that their main worry as youths now is the selection of the candidates who will take up the seats.

“Our main worry is the selection of the ten parliamentarians that are going to sit in that parliament, will the selection be partisan because as youths we are against partisan ideas, we certain ideologies of certain political parties,” he told CITE.

Another youth activist Pablo Chimsoro added that government needs to work towards capacitating youths so that they make meaningful contributions during decision making processes.

“I think it’s also important for government to promote capacity building initiatives, such that the 10 youths can make effective contributions in the house, otherwise it will be 10 seats gone down the drain,” said Chimsoro.

The Zimbabwe Youth Council (ZYC) Assistant Director Programming and Public Relations Tanzikwa Guranungo applauded the proposed amendment.

“We want to thank the government and parliament of Zimbabwe for recognizing the need for young people to be also heard, representing the voice of their colleagues to voters, nation and whole world,” said Guranungo.

He added that as a body representing young people, they hope that this move will inspire more youths to take part in politics.

“As ZYC representing young people we hope this will motivate many aspiring young parliamentarians to actively involved youth participation and development, we are very proud and happy that young people are being now fully recognized,” said Public relations officer.

He added that involving youth in parastatal boards will also go a long way in ensuring their full involvement in the decision making process of the country.

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One Comment

  1. A very very important issue in discussion that can never be overemphasized. It is a matter of urgency that the youth should come up with empowerment ideas/initiatives that they believe to work for the youth populace and present such to the government for support and implementation. Much more important is the implementation of such initiatives by the youth themselves in partnership with the government and various concerned stakeholders. I believe in the youth’s capacity to provide solutions to the challenges they face rather than merely loading it onto the government. A 65%+ share of population is unjustifiably too much to not count, unprecedented in a modern-day civilised society. However, this requires a great deal of collective efforts and unity amongst the youth group: a tremendous capacity underutilised. What a loss to our beloved country Zimbabwe!!!!!

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