Zim youths must claim political space: Mliswa

HARARE - Zimbabwean youths have gone to sleep while the older generation has been making disastrous decisions adversely affecting them, Youth Advocacy for Reform and Democracy (Yard) founder and former Zanu PF bigwig Temba Mliswa has said.

Mliswa, whose Yard has been invited to Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema’s 2016 election manifesto launch on April 30, said Zimbabwean youths had been emasculated by the governing Zanu PF. Yard was invited to the EFF manifesto launch by Matshepo Khumalo, from Malema’s presidential office.

The firebrand Malema, who seeks nationalisation of mines and land and the curbing of white economic power, has called on other SA opposition parties to unite with his leftist and youths-dominated EFF to break the grip of the governing ANC party at the forthcoming municipal polls this year.

“Zimbabwean youths are lacking that militancy, because of the system, but when you rub shoulders with people such as ... Malema, that will build that confidence, that it can be done,” Mliswa told the Daily News yesterday.

“We have had such youths before, the late (MDC spokesman) Learnmore Jongwe was one, (former deputy prime minister Arthur) Mutambara was one.

“The youths of this country have gone to sleep, also because of the system that has intimidated them. You need to understand that people who fought the liberation system in this country were young, you have to be like the president (Mugabe) when he was young, Josiah Tongogara, Hebert Chitepo, Joshua Nkomo, Nikita Mangena, Solomon Mujuru when they were young. (Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander general Constantine) Chiwenga, (Airforce chief Perrance) Shiri, some of them went to the war when they were as young as 16.”

The former Zanu PF MP said attending the EFF manifesto launch and dinner gala will give the Yard youths the exposure on how other “progressive movements are making a change in their countries."

“Most of the things EFF is doing resonate with the youth regionally and internationally. You saw how the South African Parliament changed overnight because of 25 people (EFF MPs). Everyone is held accountable, even the president is held accountable.

“You need a generation which has a stake in the future because whatever is being done, impacts on them. Youths must claim the space and dictate their future.”

Mliswa added: “For as long as Zimbabwean youths are quiet and are not participating in the elective process, they will still suffer. They constitute 70 percent of the population but that’s not reflective in Parliament, in the executive, or in the judiciary."

He said even Zanu PF had started realising the need to mainstream youths.

“Even now, you see that G40 in Zanu PF is making waves, and the president has ignored the call by war veterans to remove Saviour Kasukuwere from being the national commissar,” he said.

“By having a national commissar who is young clearly shows that this party is moving towards a youthful leadership.”

According to the EFF’s invitation to Yard, the party describes itself as a “radical and militant economic emancipation movement that brings together revolutionary, fearless, radical, and militant activists, workers’ movements, non-governmental organisations, community-based organisations and lobby groups under the umbrella of pursuing the struggle for economic emancipation.”

“We value sound international solidarity and relations whose aim is about collective upliftment and development of all people in the world,” EFF's invitation letter said.

Comments (4)

does yard have membership?

truth - 25 April 2016

Well said Mliswa. All over the world especially in the developed world countries the governments are run by youth. For an example England, France, Germany and Russia. You will see that their parliamentarians are youthful. Elders are there and they give weight to the body. The Elders who fought the war did that when they were found and hands up they did a splendid job but it is high time the Zimbabwean youth get involved without fear and when a few rise things will change in the republic. We mourn Learnmore Jongwe he was gifted. It's high time Zimbabwean youth rise and take their positions its no longer about arms but positions with their education and exposure. The likes of Tendai Biti he should get back in position as he gave the country a taste of what he is capable of doing, the only thing l would say to him is when you are under a covering of a great man great things happen and many a times as young people we see these great happenings and we think l can go start my own thing not realising it was the covering. When you have gone you see there is nothing happening. Truth is Mr Tsvangirai was a great commander and together you can shake the bridge. Youth Arise!

Zim Analyst - 25 April 2016

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