Allegations recently brought up by youths during the International Youth Day commemorations at Mucheke Stadium, Masvingo, that there is unfair distribution of funds under the Youth Development Fund (YDF), spearheaded by government to empower youths countrywide, must be taken seriously.
If these reports are true, then Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere has some soul-searching exercise to do.
These claims cannot be wished away, and as such they need to be investigated to get to be bottom of the matter. If it is true that the actions of those administering the YDF are untoward, then action must be taken.
It is important that the ministry ensures fair distribution of resources to youths countrywide. Empowering the youths will ensure they play a constructive role in the economic empowerment of Zimbabwe.
It is sad to note Kasukuwere, who officiated at the commemorations, was forced to call upfront a youth, who accused his ministry of giving the money to youths aligned to other political parties.
This is most unfortunate because taxpayers’ money must not be used for partisan projects. Every youth, as long as they are eligible, must benefit from this fund.
Kasukuwere’s ministry must ensure that the $1 million YDF money, though insufficient, must be evenly distributed among all provinces in a non-partisan and transparent manner.
However, one can concur with Kasukuwere when he said: “The money is little and cannot cater for all youths. It is insufficient, but those given should pay back to ensure continuity of the fund. Those who benefit should remember that there are others waiting to get the money.”
On another note, Kasukuwere, the Zanu PF deputy youth secretary, also delivered a strong message to the youths across the political divide that they should shun violence, but work hard to promote dialogue and respect for each other.
Commendable as it is, he must remind his colleagues in government to walk the talk. Ahead of elections, youths have been used as cannon fodder in political battles.
It is our hope that youths, who form the backbone of the main political parties in the inclusive government, should take heed and avoid the violent nature of some of their party leaders.
Deaths resulting from political violence are only part of the problem.
Violence can also affect the health of communities as it can increase health care costs, decrease property values, and disrupt social services.
Let us guard against violent behaviour to protect our country!