ON Wednesday, Zimbabwe was on holiday, commemorating National Youth Day, largely meant to remember our future, the youths.

Albeit the holiday having somewhat a controversial genesis and is celebrated with mixed feelings given that it falls on the country’s late former President Robert Mugabe’s birthday, it still remains important that on this day we spare a thought for our young generation.

On this day as most government departments and offices as well as many companies in the private sector were closed for business, it was a normal working day for many Zimbabweans, especially the youths who should have been on holiday.

Zimbabwe’s economy has been brutal, to say the least, particularly for the youths, the majority of whom have never been formally employed ever since they left school or graduated from college.

The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency’s latest figures indicate an unemployment rate of 54% which attests to this.

Their lot has been a life of hustling, which has been so tough that many of them have been reduced to miserable wretches after seeking solace in drugs, alcohol and other  dangerous substances. And in our NewsDay front-page story yesterday titled: ED dangles promises to restless youths, the youths clearly articulated their plight.

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In the past we have heard that more than half of the country’s youths are into drug and alcohol abuse, a very worrying situation which needs serious introspection by all Zimbabweans, principally our government which we believe is solely responsible for creating an ideal environment for our youths to thrive.

As it stands, that environment is absent and government’s commitment to lift the youths from the gutter is largely questionable as it fails to, for example, create an ideal landscape for domestic and foreign investment.

The government’s policies have so far been so confusing that, even the youths with their young minds are failing to make heads or tails which way the country is heading.

For instance, while land is one of most critical resources the country has, the way it is being managed or maybe mismanaged leaves many of our youths wondering if ever they will have a piece of it to build a house.

Zimbabwe is also endowed with some of the world’s largest mineral resources, but ask many of the youths about prospects of them benefiting from them, they will unflinching tell you that the chances are next to nil.

So, if truth be told, National Youth Day remains hollow to many of its beneficiaries because of the many dreams of our young generation which have been shattered by their elders’ sins of commission and omission.

Promising the youths a better tomorrow and upper-middle-income economy by 2030 is as hollow as promising them jobs in a month’s time. And this is, unfortunately, exactly what our government has been doing for many years past, much to the disappointment of our youths.