CiZC Youth cluster convene to craft 2018 Election Strategy

Harare: Over 25 youth organisations who are affiliate members of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) today convened in Harare in a move aimed at mapping the youths’ 2018 election strategy. The youths, representing the CiZC’s Youth committee met for workshop dubbed “The Youth Strategy Development Meeting” also sought to come up with sustainable inventions post 2018.

In her keynote address at the meeting, CiZC Acting Coordinator, Memory Kadau hailed the youths for their zeal and energy towards contributing to the country’s democratic processes.

“The role of young people can never be over emphasised,” she said, adding that there was need for the youth sector to come up with an inclusive resolution regarding the 2018 election strategy.

“We should push for an inclusive resolution that leaves no one behind. It is our fervent hope that as the CiZC, we will implement this resolution accordingly,” she added.

Claris Madhuku, the CiZC Youth Committee Chairperson said the meeting was part of the resolutions made by the youths at their previous meeting held in the capital in April 2017.

He said considering that youths constitute over 65 percent of the country’s population, it was important for the youths organisations working in the country to collaborate and synergise their efforts so that they come up with a collective voice and partnerships ahead of the 2018 general elections.

“We reflected on the strategy regarding youth programming ahead of elections considering that young people are deliberately excluded from the electoral processes by a failed government,” said Madhuku.

He revealed that as part of the strategy, there was general consensus among the young people on the need to educate citizens and their fellow youths on the importance of participating in the country’s democratic processes including elections.

“What we want is to educate youths on demanding their rights and ensuring that they are knowledgeable of the Constitution and the importance of the constitutionalism,” he said.

Madhuku added that there is limited knowledge on the Biometric Voter Registration system (BVR) among youth and citizens at large.

“For Zanu Pf, it is life as usual regarding the BVR despite that this system has the potential to disenfranchise eligible voters especially the youths,” he said, adding that it was important for youth organisations to educate and mobilise for the youth vote in the forthcoming plebiscite.

Madhuku added that the youth organisations had also identified potential activities and interventions that go beyond 2018.

“What we have agreed as the CiZC youth cluster is that we should navigate and deal with the captured institutions, the majority of whom are in the habit of giving in to Zanu PF,” he added.

The strategic meeting drew participation of youths organisations working in all the country’s ten provinces some of which include Achieve Your Goal Trust (AYGT), Youth Forum, Build A Better Youth Zimbabwe (BABYZIM),  Bulawayo Youth Arise (BUYA), Combined Restitution Association for Zimbabwean Youth (CRAZY), Communist Movement of Zimbabwe (CMZ), Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development (COTRAD), Female Students Network (FSN),  FES Alumni Association, the National Movement of Catholic Students (NMCS), National Youth Development Trust (NYDT), the Platform for Youth Development (PYD), the Students Christian Movement of Zimbabwe (SCMZ) and the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) among others.

The youth organisations ended by issuing a Joint Statement to the media on resolution and strategies going forward (please find attached full statement).

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  • David Barber

    By far the most effective election strategy for the youth of
    Zimbabwe to pursue is to put pressure on the opposition to make Agenda 2063 and
    its accompanying First Ten-Year Implementation Plan 2014-2023 the basis of
    their manifesto.

    I am saying this because it already contains a full commitment to Africa’s
    youth as the future of the continent, with precise and detailed steps for the development
    of youth and young entrepreneurs.

    One of its main aims is that Africans will “be amongst the best
    performers in global quality of life measures” as soon as possible. In plain
    English, that means they will enjoy a Western-quality lifestyle.

    It also intends “to ensure the full participation of African peoples
    in governance” of their countries. Once that is done, repressive governments
    will end forever.

    But the AU stresses that
    Agenda 2063 cannot achieve these and many other objectives unless it gets the
    whole-hearted support of African citizens. Among
    other things, it is asking all citizens to “Encourage all private candidates
    and political parties to use Agenda 2063 as the basis for developing their
    manifestos”. And not vote for them if they do not.

    All African governments
    have already signed up to Agenda 2063, including Mugabe’s. However, in typical
    fashion, he has already failed to meet any of the targets set out in Agenda
    2063, or to carry out any of the measures he agreed to.