Former student leaders at university and other tertiary institutions have urged youths to register as voters and take charge of all national processes.
The ex-student leaders who met in Harare over the weekend under the auspices of the Student Solidarity Trust (SST), resolved to mobilise youths to play an active role in the country’s politics.
The ceremony was to honour former student leaders who have excelled in different endeavours and to recognise new graduates.
“This is an election year and everyone should register as a voter,” said Jacob Mafume, a former student leader.
“The emphasis is simply to be part of policy influence and to achieve that you have to register as a voter.”
MDC-T organising secretary Nelson Chamisa, a former student leader, said they were proud to have stood up to the government’s heavy-handed approach to the students.
“We are happy that we managed to outflank and outdo machinations of dictatorship,” he said.
“I was expelled from Harare Polytechnic but I now share a platform with (former Higher Education minister Ignatius) Chombo who fired me from college only to see me come back as his colleague in Cabinet.
“What has motivated us as leaders is the height of our conviction,” Chamisa said.
“We have not arrived, we can enjoy the oranges at half-time, but that’s not the trophy.
“Let’s allow students to debate freely at our universities.
“Universities are supposed to be conveyor belts of wisdom.
“We are often told that youths are leaders of tomorrow I don’t agree with that but I only do agree on condition that tomorrow starts today,” he said.
Chamisa was fired from the Harare Polytechnic where he was a student leader for leading protests.
Those who graduated at the SST function included Masimba Nyamanhindi, Trust Nhubu, Beloved Chiweshe, Alfred Mugani, Clever Bere, Mufundo Mlilo, Promise Mkwananzi (MDC-T youth assembly secretary general) among others.
Among those who received honorary awards were Mcdonald Lewanika (Crisis Coalition), Thabita Khumalo (MDC-T MP), Otto Saki (lawyer), Sizane Weza and Itai Zimunya.