Address youths' concerns

HARARE - It has taken the clarity of the Soweto uprising for youths to grasp that the onus to remind government it owes them opportunities to improve their circumstances through provision of jobs lies with them.

The Soweto uprising sparked by attempting to foist Afrikaans as the main medium of instruction in schools proved a turning point in dismantling an exclusionist, racially segregated  system that favoured a minority white community in South Africa which jolted  the world to concentrate attention on the existence of an evil system.

That poignant event rekindled collective enthusiasm to dismantle entrenchment of an obnoxious system.

By articulating their concerns, Zimbabwean youths of whatever political persuasion are prodding government to account for and fulfill its avowed pledges to prioritise  reversing circumstances that are causing them despair and despondency.

In some way, youth commemoration of the Soweto uprising portends a situation when frustration over broken promises could feed a groundswell of resentment that has great potential for social upheaval. 

Youths have gradually realised that it’s futile for them to remain mere foot soldiers in getting politicians into office.

They see a bleak future ahead unless they constantly remind government to take steps to address their major concerns and fears.

Just as much as they envision a dire future if they do not act now, they agonise over years of strenuous effort they put to get an education; they agonise over years their parents had to forego basic necessities in order to give them that education and still worry when they are forced by circumstances to sponge off the same parents that have already done their part.

Youths are terrified of a future that transforms graduates into mere subsistence traders living from hand to mouth.

With much chagrin they have belatedly realised that 500 000 job losses resulting from unremitting factory closures since last year have been added to the 2,2 million jobs government promised youths through its ZimAsset economic blueprint and now consider the manuscript too theoretical and a hard act to follow.

They are confounded by the rapid deterioration in job opportunities and much more concerned by accelerated company closures.

They are frustrated by the failure to address the spiking unemployment rate and yet government remains adamant it will solve these problems without the slightest evidence on the ground except for the discredit associated with the Youth Fund.

Venting their frustration with the prevailing situation on an internationally recognised day when their counterparts in South Africa made short shrift of the Afrikaans Medium Decree in 1976, portends a bad harbinger unless tangible action is taken to address the situation.

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