BY VENERANDA LANGA
YOUTHS yesterday called for the auditing of the Zimbabwe Youth Council (ZYC), while others wanted it disbanded because it had become a politicised institution and a feeding trough for some politicians.
This came out during a public hearing by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth Sports and Arts chaired by Mathias Tongofa in response to a petition on the setting up of a youth commission.
One of the youths, Brendon Sande said: “We must have a youth commission because ZYC does not serve any interests of the young people and right now it is operating in a partisan manner and is compromised. Section 20 of the Constitution stipulates that youths should be aged 15 years to 35 years, but the ZYC has become an old people’s home. We need an independent commission.”
Another youth said the ZYC was not properly carrying out its mandate, adding that the Zimbabwe Youth Council Act, enacted in 1997, must be amended.
Ian Hamandishe said: “The ZYC has been used as a tool of abuse by some authorities and has functioned without a board. Section 20 of the Constitution provides for that youth programmes must be established through an Act of Parliament, but that has not happened yet the Constitution was crafted in 2013 and we are in 2019 which means there is no political will to push the youth agenda.”
Denford Ngadziore said the ZYC books must be audited after millions of dollars were lost through youth loans that were not repaid during the era of Saviour Kasukuwere as Youth minister.
Victoria James said there was need for an independent youth commission because ZYC has been infiltrated by politicians and was no longer serving its purposes.
“The Junior Parliament is run by the ZYC and it is used politically to the extent that the Junior President is made to wear a scarf (President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s national flag scarf),” Prince Gora added.
But Tongofa shot back saying there was nothing wrong with the scarf because the Junior President mirrored the current State President.
Other suggestions by the youth were that all boards should have youth representatives, including MPs and ministers since they represent 62% of the population.