When false promises backfire

HARARE - It took a courageous clutch of Bulawayo youths to debunk Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere’s myth that their unemployment problems could be solved by distributive nationalism.

Constant harping on intentions and promises hard to implement has boomeranged to haunt the ministry supposed to create employment and superintend over meeting youth’s aspirations.

Apparently, a new era has dawned when each government minister has to live up to his ministry’s promises lest it loses relevance as those affected cannot accept anything less.

On Monday this week, Kasukuwere came face to face with youths from both mainstream parties angered by false promises contained in an empowerment programme that has done little to mitigate commonplace unemployment or improve the quality of life among youths.

Most probably driven by a belated realisation that for far too long, politicians have taken youths as mere foot soldiers to coerce those perceived as opponents by virtue of belonging to different political parties without reciprocal benefit, youths have collectively come to their senses to question what profit they derive from a slew of unkept promises.

There was a time when politicians could take youths for granted. But Monday’s encounter in Bulawayo seemed to have turned the tide against this long-held attitude by political party leaders.

The fact that Kasukuwere was subjected to very difficult questions, some he could not answer satisfactorily shows how out of touch with youth aspirations his hastily cobbled policy intention is.

When youth speak up to a minister’s face and force him to admit his ministry’s policy failures, it clearly signals that greater attention needs to be paid to the needs of the new generation of youths.

Kasukuwere should have been more aware than anyone else that the new generation of youths is a crop of educated young adults, not so glib as to miss the fact that government has an obligation to create a conductive atmosphere for them to realise their dreams.

All they are asking is for the ministry to keep its side of the bargain by assisting them achieve their ambitions.

It means our youths are fed up with endless doses of illusionary intentions and that they now demand of government less cumbersome opportunities to shape their own destiny.

For the minister to remind the youths what they already know that banks are not forthcoming when it comes to funding local businesses is a serious indictment on his ministry.

The ministry should not have pronounced a programme it cannot see through.

Incredibly, Kasukuwere makes further promises to deal with what he perceives as errant banks who “do not want us to prosper” when his ministry has failed to live up to the promises it initially made to the youths. - Staff Writer

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