Mugabe’s misrule breeds passionate youngsters

LONDON - After obtaining a diploma in Computer Science Alois Mbawara, like any recent graduate, should have been looking forward to securing a good job. Instead he found himself in the same position as many young Zimbabweans - stuck at home unemployed and watching helplessly as the economy

spiralled out of control.
Alois’ family of seven could only afford to eat one meal a day, despite the fact that his father had a respectable job. Tired of being a burden on his family, Alois moved to Britain and, with other young exiles, set up a non-political youth movement with the single goal of taking part in the restoration of democracy to Zimbabwe.
The organisation, Free Zimbabwe Youth (FZY), aims to lobby African leaders to take a firm stance on the problems in Zimbabwe. “We want to put pressure on our African brothers; the Zimbabwe crisis needs an African solution. It is a privilege for us to meet any African President that comes into the UK and ask them why they are not doing anything about it,” says Alois.
With their passion and energy FZY have reinvigorated the large exiled Zimbabwean community in the UK, organising successful marches and a recent ‘ambush’ of the South African Foreign Minister during a speech she made at a London University. Alois hopes that the actions of FZY will inspire other young Zimbabweans: “Our dream is to see all young people stand up and demand their future.”
Alois, 25, says he was politically conscious from an early age. “My mom and dad used to force me to read the newspaper,” he says laughing as he recalls how when the Daily News was launched, his father brought home a copy every day. As a result, Alois became a great admirer of Morgan Tsvangirai. From the age of 12 he started sneaking out of his house in Mbare, against his mother’s wishes, to see Tsvangirai speak at the trade union rallies held at the national football stadium every May Day.
After completing his O Levels, Alois went on to study for a diploma. However, it became more and more difficult for him to go to classes, due to the escalating cost of tuition fees. Becoming increasingly politically active, he took part in many mass demonstrations, risking beatings, arrest and torture by the police every time he joined a protest. He said he was inspired to act by his mother who he says: “Is a true solider who schooled me on how to be responsible.”
Alois is passionate about his cause and he firmly believes he is doing something that will inspire Zimbabweans all over the world. “We represent the 99 per cent of young Zimbabweans who would want to do what we are doing. I wish to tell all the young people who are growing up in poor conditions that you do not have to be rich to get the most out of life,” he said.

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