Politics a Dirty But Necessary Game to Take Part in.

During my early days as a youth I took keen interest in the politics of our nation and world at large. The same however could not be said of my peers who used to keep telling me that they do not want anything to do with politics and simply had no interest in it. At the time, I wondered where this country and Africa would be if the youth of Joshua Nkomo, Nelson Mandela, Kenneth Kaunda, Jason Ziyaphapha Moyo, and Robert Mugabe’s time had not been interested in politics. I realized there and then that as young people, politics would never leave us alone because it affects us all in one way or another.

Politics is a factor that influences investment especially foreign investment. What this means is that Youths do not necessarily have to take an active part in politics but should make an effort to simply know what is happening in the political arena. This can be done through reading newspapers, watching news channels on television, and attending public meetings like the ones held by NYDT and the Bulawayo Youth Council amongst other civic organisations. Some schools even organise trips to parliament for students to get a chance to see MP’s engage each other and debate on pertinent issues. This way young people get to appreciate how laws are made and passed in the August House. Another issue that is rather worrying is that of election time. Imagine if everyone had the mentality of not voting like most youths, then little or nothing would change and yet youths are the first to complain when things fail. We need to realize that by simply voting we could change a lot of things. Yours truly remembers the worst case of the 2008 elections when most youths seemed to be viewing the whole exercise as a hopeless act.

Zimbabwe must introduce a law such as the one in Australia where not taking part in the election constitutes a crime. I also remember one time when I was mobilising for a policy dialogue meeting when some youths I approached and told about the meeting asked me if there was going to be any beer, food or money at the meeting. Honestly, is that all young people ever think about or are interested in when invited to attend such gatherings?

The other thing I have observed is that at tertiary institutions most youths become politically aware when they are called upon by their student leaders to strike or protest over high fees being charged by their respective institutions.. Why do they wait for the extremist situations to get involved and then they end up getting arrested, hurt or worst still dead.

By being aware or taking an active part in politics, youths get to know that there are many ways of solving problems in a country than stone throwing. People can sit down, discuss, negotiate and resolve their differences before things become worse. They will learn how a proper government is supposed to be run as compared to what they have witnessed of History. It is my hope however that youths will change their attitudes regarding these issues.

Otherwise don’t be shocked to learn that quite a sizable number of youths in your constituency don’t know who their MP is, that is if they know what an MP is in the first case.
Njabulo Tazibona
Youth Councillor Ward 4

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