The Community Youth Development Trust (CYDT), in collaboration with other civic society groups in Matabeleland South, has unveiled a toolkit referred to as the “Matabeleland South Youth Key Asks”, detailing the political and socio-economic needs of youths in the province.
BY SILAS NKALA
The unveiling of the toolkit comes in the wake of consultative meetings organised by CYDT, held in Gwanda, Bulilima, Mangwe, Mzingwane, Matobo, Beitbridge and Insiza to gather the views of the youths in the province for input into the toolkit.
In a statement CYDT coordinator Sichasisile Ndlovu said on August 30 this year, youth representatives from across Matabeleland South would engage the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Youth, Sports and Recreation to discuss the “this toolkit”.
“This toolkit has also been tabled to elected leaders in Matabeleland South’s seven districts, with a view of pushing for their buy-in to address the KEY-ASKS of the youths in the province,” Ndlovu said.
“This is to ensure issues peculiar to the youths in the province are brought to the public domain so that they attract the necessary attention and redress from both the local and national leadership.”
Ndlovu said it was the considered view of CYDT that there was need for youth involvement on key governance issues, and political will from the country’s leadership for the much-needed attention to attend to “Matabeleland South’s youth needs”.
“These are summarised as political demands. Local and national leaders, particularly politicians must desist from using young people as perpetrators of violence. There is need for a conducive environment that empowers young people to assume leadership positions at both governance and political party levels,” she said.
“Government and political institutions should adopt a ZEBRA approach (50/50) in terms of appointments to youth representation in leadership positions. Government should fully implement devolution of power for young people to benefit from resources in their communities; and there is need for a non-partisan national dialogue process that puts the interests of ordinary Zimbabwean first.”
Ndlovu said youths also demanded that government provides non-partisan youth empowerment initiatives, and also create jobs for them.
On social needs, NYDT said local authorities and community structures should provide opportunities for young people to assume leadership positions to contribute to the development of their communities.
“Local authorities should develop and implement youth empowerment friendly policies that promote youth participation in local governance. Government, through the Ministry of Health, should prioritise women sexual reproductive health through the provision of free sanitary ware, especially for women in rural and remote areas,” she said.
The NYDT coordinator said government should adopt constitutionalism, unity and foundations of national dialogue in order to promote collective engagement for the youths for inclusive development.
She said government should enforce social corporate responsibility programmes, especially in the mining sector in order to uplift communities.