The outgoing Child President for the Junior Parliament, Nigel Gwanzura, said most of the policy changes they proposed had not been implemented, raising fears that concerns of children would continue to be trivialised.
Gwanzura said this during the closing session of the 18th Session of the Junior Parliament to make way for a new session that will be opened on July 16.
“Senior ministers and MPs need to take the Junior Parliament seriously because we have a right to be heard as children,” said Gwanzura.
“Junior MPs also face a lot of challenges in that people out there view us as politicians and yet we do not belong to any political party. At our schools our efforts as Junior MPs are not even recognised,” he said.
Gwanzura also complained that junior MPs were not considered in the Presidential Scholarship programme despite sacrificing a lot of their time addressing issues of national importance.
Other issues raised by the outgoing Junior MPs centred on the constitution-making process, which they said should include children’s rights to free primary school education and basic health care.
They said Zimbabwe was a signatory to many protocols on children’s rights but most of them were yet to be domesticated.
The Junior MPs also demanded that their parliament be funded by government because most of their ideas were not implemented due to lack of funds.
The Junior MPs endorsed awards for President Robert Mugabe and Unicef for their contributions in improving Zimbabwe’s education system.