Youths want a share in parly

Youths in Zimbabwe, arguably the most visible demographic group during the run-up to elections but accounting for none among those elected, are demanding a quota system that will ensure they are represented.

“We demand for a quota system along the lines of the gender parity system and our leadership should be aware that this is our right,” said the MDC-T’s youth national secretary for information Clifford Hlatshwayo, last week.

“President Tsvangirai and his whole executive have stood at podiums declaring that the youths are tomorrow’s leaders. But we beg to differ. The youths are today’s leaders,” said Hlatshwayo.

He said they would demand that a percentage of parliamentary seats and council wards be reserved for youths. “Gender parity will be seriously considered and we will work with the Women’s Assembly to realize the best results. We are not declaring war, this is a youth national council resolution. We will persuade our leaders and tell them that a peaceful and smooth transition in future can only be realized if the youths have practical experience now,” added Hlatshwayo.

Jimu Kunaka, the Zanu (PF) Harare Province Youth Chairman and the leader of the vigilante group Chipangano, said his party’s youths were going to be visible in elections this time as they have always been.

“We are a democratic party and have many opportunities for the youths. In the forthcoming elections, youths will have a chance to participate in polls again,” said Kunaka.

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