INTERVIEWS for the selection of the next Harare City Junior councillors closed yesterday with more than 100 prospective junior candidates reporting for sessions.
The new junior councillors are scheduled to be inaugurated in June for the 2013-2014 term.
REPORT BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
A panel of junior councillors and junior aldermen who make up programme co-ordinators, was assembled to administer the recruitment of the forthcoming Junior Council.
In an interview with NewsDay Teens, junior aldermen Lungani Zwangobani said letters were sent out to all eligible schools to submit candidates for the Junior Council vacancies.
“I can confirm that today (yesterday) marks our last day of conducting interviews for the selection of the new Junior Council for the 2013-2014 term to be inaugurated early June.
“We have been conducting interviews at our Town House offices with the aim of identifying interested candidates and their capacity for development,” Zwangobani said.
“We had quite a huge number of students showing the potential that they can successfully compete and contribute to the Junior Council programme.
“However, since we cannot accommodate them all, they are going to be trimmed to our required number of 60 as we progress.”
Eligible prospective councillors who turned up for the interviews were drawn from high schools that are located within the local government area and identified as secondary school or high school by the Education, Sport, Arts and Culture ministry.
During the interview process, programme co-ordinators were looking at how familiar the students were with the environment, the challenges being faced by young people in communities they live in and knowledge of current affairs, among other issues.
According to the selection criteria, students will enter the programme as junior prospective councillors and then progress to honourable junior councillors after three months of training.
“Some of the prospective junior councillors who would have impressed during the interviews will then be taken for three months’ training, and during the course of those months, the prospective councillors will be taught about youth leadership participation, issues of civil and child rights, local governance, team building, personal-goal setting and achievements, among others.
“The training will end with the election of office bearers and in the case of Harare, that would be the junior mayor, junior deputy major, junior town clerk, junior treasurer, junior public relations officer, junior projects co-ordinator, junior chief of committees’ clerk and the disciplinary committee,” Zwangobani said.
Meanwhile, her worship Ruvimbo Ndoro, who is the deputy junior mayor, said she was overwhelmed by the number of students who came for interviews.
“We had a huge number of students coming for the interviews, which is an indication that both the schools and students are now appreciating the role and importance of participating in the Junior Council,” she said.
Roosevelt Girls High’s Tatenda Kabote (16) who was also interviewed, said she wanted to be part and parcel of the Harare City Junior Council.
Derlone Mubu of Churchill Boys High said: “I want to obtain knowledge about civic affairs and be empowered as an upcoming leader, as I believe that this is the most elite leadership programme a teen must participate in.”
The Harare City Junior Council has been in existence for the past 60 years and has proved to be one of the reliable vehicles for youth development.
The programme has grown into a successful youth programme, with 32 high schools and 59 students participating in it.