BY JAMES MUONWA
A PARLIAMENTARY portfolio committee meeting was aborted in Kadoma at the weekend after rowdy Zanu PF youths heckled legislators and participants, threatening to unleash violence.
The Youth, Sports and Recreation Parliamentary Portfolio Committee was on its seventh leg to gather opinion on the idea of setting up a youth commission following a petition by a Kadoma youth, Believe Guta (31), to create the youth body.
The meeting, held at Waverly Hall, turned riotous after visibly-drunk Zanu PF youth continuously interjected during contributions by participants, forcing its premature end.
This was despite repeated pleas by MDC legislators Trevor Saruwaka and Happymore Chidziva for mature deliberations to prevail.
Youth, Sport and Recreation Committee chairperson Mathias Tongofa deplored the wayward behaviour by the Zanu PF youths.
“It’s sad that such a thing is happening when young people should be discussing serious issues to do with their future. How then can we as Zanu PF, the ruling party, mobilise people to join us and consolidate our hold to power when we have such a crop of youths?” lamented Tongofa, who is also Zanu PF Chivi North lawmaker.
Tongofa, however, conceded there was general consensus on the urgent need of setting up a youth commission to champion issues around the Constitution of Zimbabwe section 20 that deals with youth matters.
Commenting on the ill-fated meeting, Saruwaka said: “People are still polarised and contributions were biased along party lines. But from the other six peaceful meetings we have held, there is convergence on the need for a youth commission.”
The committee has so far held public consultations in Mashonaland East, Manicaland, Masvingo, Bulawayo, Matabeleland South, while the last one was held in Harare on Monday.