Youth Forum under attack

Well known Zanu (PF) youths, masquerading as Central Intelligence Officers have pounced on Youth Forum activists here for using sports kit donated by the

Forum as part of its Youth Voter Registration Campaign.

The youths, led by Blessing Chinondiwana, Ngonidzashe Taruwona and one young woman known as Amai Mukaro, visited Forum activists demanding to know why they were using kit received from ‘an organization that is not friendly to our Zanu (PF)’. They claimed to have been sent by the state, saying they were CIO agents and demanding to see the kit. After realizing that it had no political slogans on it, they wanted to confiscate the clothing. When told that this was stealing they said they would seek permission from their seniors.

The Youth Forum, after identifying sport as a unifier of youths from different backgrounds, donated sports kits and balls to be used to facilitate young people coming together and discussing issues that affect them – regardless of political affiliation – and to encourage each other to register as voters.

“Despite these minor setbacks, the programme has gone on well with reports that youths are meeting and using the kits effectively every week,” Youth Forum said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Forum is still battling with Masvingo police after being denied clearance for holding a Roadshow to celebrate International Women’s Day and encourage young people, especially women, to register and vote in any elections. The event was pencilled for March 10 and has now been rescheduled for Saturday March 24 at Mupandawana Growth Point in Gutu.

Last year the police cleared the Forum’s International Youth Day Celebrations in August and then barricaded the entrance to the venue, saying the event could not go on because a Zanu (PF) MP who was scheduled to speak at the event decided to abscond. The event finally took off after protracted negotiations with the authorities and was very successful, attracting hundreds of youths from within and outside the province.

“These obstacles will not deter the young men and women of Zimbabwe from fighting for their empowerment and recognition in all aspects of life. They only give us more vigour to press on with reforms that will see the youth becoming an integral part of our society,” said the Forum.

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