5 things youths must demand from next Zimbabwe govt
Opinion by Caston Matewu
As I walked down Robert Mugabe Road in Harare, what struck me was not the cars or lack of congestion on the road (of cause the City Council have done a good job making it a one way street) it was the amount of youths strolling the street.
You could be forgiven for thinking that all is well in Zimbabwe as people are always trying their best to put on a smiley face. However beneath those happy faces lies Africa’s worst unemployment rate.
Phone dealers, hustlers and conmen is what most youths are turning to these days in order to feed their families and earn a living, most will be trying a hustle a dollar here and there. This made me take a look at the government and try to think what the next government can do for the young people in Zimbabwe.
Before I went into deep thought, I met with Solomon Madzore, the MDC-T Youth President who spent more than a year inside Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison for a crime he did not commit. He reminded me of one of my greatest icons Nelson Mandela; he looked tall, lean and had an unusual glow in his eyes.
Madzore did not mourn or complain about his time in prison, but instead he expressed hope that the youths of Zimbabwe will again see the light after dark years under the tunnel with ZANU PF. He showed complete passion and eagerness to see his country provide an order for plenty and flipping his hands he assured me that he will not rest until freedom of expression and equality reigns in Zimbabwe.
He made me think what if we were are all like him, what kind of Zimbabwe would we have? But then I realised I live in the real world. From my assessment, these are the 5 things I think we the youth should demand from the next government:
High quality Education that is affordable and available to every young person, education is a right not a privilege!! The next government must replace University FEES with Loans that are payable only when a student finds employment or starts a company! This is could be aided by that $2bn that Kasukuwere claims to have made in the Indigenisation process.
Affordable and accessible Housing Scheme for the youth: Housing is a human right and is very problematic for the youth in Zimbabwe; the government must work with local authorities to avail discounted stands for the youth.
3. Ending violence and discrimination
The government through the Zimbabwe Youth Council (ZYC) must bring an end to political violence through public forums and reconciliation.
The government must introduce tax cuts to companies that employ young people; furthermore the government should encourage entrepreneurships through government funds and peg retirement age at 70 to make space for youth in work. People working in all government institutions must be forced to retire at 70.
5. Health Care
Children below the age of 18 should not be required to pay any consultation fees in a government funded hospital or clinic.
Caston Matewu – MDC-UK & Ireland Youth Chairman