Time for youths to reclaim power

HARARE - Of significance is that the youth’s fortunes in Zimbabwe are in the most compromised political dustbins but this is a result of the failure by us young people to use the power in our hands to determine the Zimbabwe we want.

Youths are faced with the bulk of problems, which also call for desperate remedies.

These include sky-rocketing unemployment and denial of a chance to hold influential political positions. In this light, the young generation is failing to determine its own fate.

In the end, they engage in criminal activities like robbery and prostitution.

All these calamities emanate from their relegation and disengagement from political participation, which therefore gives a chance to the old guard to continue driving a boat full of youngsters.

To begin with, it is unequivocally important for youths to register as voters as this gives them the capacity to elect youthful leaders who understand their plight and can be representatives of the true needs of the youngsters of Zimbabwe.

Since nearly 65 percent of the population in Zimbabwe is made up of youths, true democracy will, therefore, entail the participation of the largest group which is also likely to bring about the most popular government.

 As the youths, we should take the example of our Zambian counterparts where nearly 85 percent of people on the voters’ roll are youths aged between 18 and 35.

This, therefore, should encourage any responsible youth to participate and determine the long-term future of the country.

Many struggles, changes and conservation of regimes are determined by the youth. For instance, the Zanu PF victory in 1980 was in the hands of the youth.

The Obama victory in 2008 was too peddled by the youth. Unless and until the youth, as the lifeblood of the political fraternity, are determined to see an end to Zimbabwe continuing to fall into a failed or collapsed state will the country achieve real change.

And they cannot do this without registering to vote. Therefore, registering is ab initio, a factor we should not sweep under the carpet.

Also, the creation of a conducive voting environment lies in the hands of the youth. It is on record that the youth have been used as an instrument of political violence.

In this era, one should note that those who sponsored violence have always been giving lip service to the goals of the young.

The formation of cabals like Chipangano is, therefore, one of the abuses of voting rights affecting the youth.

From the onset, the youth should be tolerant of different views and allow those with the most sellable manifestos to win.

It is not time for the youth to plan their lives on selling airtime, scrap metals, their bodies or as agents of violence.

It is time the youth reclaim the power and vote for people who will make factories and industries open and give worth to their lives.

 The youth can no longer live at the mercy of abject poverty only to look forward to receive aid from NGOs.

The death toll of the youth is continuing to rise because many are trying to seek lives through commercial sex since jobs are scarce.

All these problems cannot be answered presently by bullets but instead by the ballot.

It is better for us as youths to stand in queues so that we vote and determine our destiny than to shun the process at a cost of five years with a government that will not benefit the youth.

Finally, the youth should take charge and proclaim “Yes we can”.

We cannot expect a messiah from heaven to descent and manipulate the ballot for us.

We have messianic voting powers in ourselves to influence what is best, not only for this country, but for the majority of its citizens who happen to be youths. - Francis Mufambi

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