Young people “betrayed” by government inaction on jobs

Young people in the country say they are beginning to feel betrayed by the government because it has failed to prioritise job creation.

Bernard Ngara
Bernard Ngara

In interviews with The Zimbabwean, people expressed anger at politicians and said they were disappointed that their elected representatives had not learnt from past mistakes.

They said it was deplorable that reports of insults and abuses in parliament continued to dominate the headlines while people were wallowing in despair.

“Zanu (PF) told us that they were going to create millions of jobs, but if you look at what is happening now, it seem things are getting worse,” said Artwell Maphosa, who works as caretaker in the Avenues. “I went to school up to A level and had hopes of a better paying job than this one,” he said.

Kebby Zhou, also from the Avenues, said the most important issue was getting a job. “I expect both the legislators and the ministers to be more responsible than have been shown to be so far. As a young man faced with a very serious challenge of unemployment, I am very disappointed. We gave them a mandate but we don’t see policy issues coming up,” he said.

Zhou said that he was also worried by the increasing rate of road accidents.

“Instead of fighting, members of parliament should spend their time more usefully by crafting legislation focusing on road safety. They should also make the process of acquiring a driver’s licence more affordable. This would help those of us who are unemployed,” he said.

Tanaka Kufakunesu from Harare said he hoped the government would deal with the issue of sanctions once and for all.

“There is a lot of noise on this issue and it has to be resolved. Sanctions must be removed and then we will see what happens after that. If they can’t solve that, then the politicians should be removed,” Kufakunesu said.

Bernard Ngara, who is finishing a master’s degree in statistics at the University of Zimbabwe, said the government was neglecting bread and butter issues, while the legislature did not seem to be engaged in any meaningful debate.

“There is no need to be talking about elections now. This shows that we are in for another year of suffering. We want them to deal with service delivery issues. We want water and electricity, not to waste time on issues that cannot be reversed,” Ngara said.

In its manifesto Zanu (PF) promised to create more than a million jobs in the first year. According to the manifesto, a million jobs had already been created through the land reform programme.

Brighton Zhou said unemployed young people should be a priority for the government. “We want a facility for the unemployed. The youth fund only benefited those who were well connected,” he said.

Another young man from Norton, who only wanted to be identified as Blessmore, dismissed parliament as a joke and said he was sceptical of the government’s promise.

“The most important thing right now should be job creation, but I do not see a lot of progress. We have this indigenisation policy. Who will want to come and invest in a country and lose more than half of his company? It doesn’t make sense,” he said.

He said even though it was still early into the new term of office, the magnitude of promises made meant that, by now, some things should have changed.

Michelle Chikwanda said accountability of elected officials was lacking in the system.

“I think there is need for parliamentarians and ministers to be grilled by the public, to define their manifestos and elaborate on how far they have reached in fulfiling their promises. People need jobs. We need to work,” she said.

Dorothy from Highfield said she was not happy with the government’s handling of the jobs issue. She said they were playing with the future of the young people of Zimbabwe.

“What we are seeing in terms of employment creation is that those who know the bigwigs are getting ahead, especially when it comes to indigenisation. It’s a matter of who you know in Zanu (PF),” she said.

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