Youth Alert 10 September 2010

Consortium calls for diaspora participation during COPAC outreach as COPAC calls on Donors to help fund the exersise.
The Matabeleland Civil Society Consortium has called upon COPAC to consider outreach meetings in neighbouring countries like South Africa and Botswana where millions of Zimbabweans are known to be exiled. This comes in the wake of the argument that Matabeleland regions have had the lowest turn out at outreach meetings. The reason cited for the limited participation of the youth and citizens in general in this region have been that region is generally sparsely populated. It is important that COPAC considers the reasons raised by the Matabeleland Civic Society Consortium that thousands of young people from the region(s) have left the country for South Africa and Botswana.
The limited participation of the youth in these meetings will greatly affect the quality of the new constitution in reflecting youth concerns and the contextual realities of the people in this region.
Currently COPAC is allegedly running an interactive website where Zimbabweans in other countries can log-on and contribute their wishes on what the new constitution must include. However, this method also has limitations in that most Zimbabweans, especially the youth, in South Africa and Botswana do not have access to internet as they do menial jobs.

Copac co-Chairperson Mukhosi told a meeting of CSOs and media in Bulawayo yesterday that they are appealing to donors to fund outreach meetings in other countries as they too deserave a chance to say what they want in the new constitution.
NYDT is a member of the consortium which was formed in the last quarter of 2009. It was formed to increase collaboration among civil society organisations in Matabeleland during the constitution making process and beyond; in activities like the observation of the process, mobiising citizens to participate in the processes, disseminating information on the process and other related ways of ensuring that the process reflects the aspirations of Zimbabweans.
Statistics Gathering a cause for concern – Other troubling news is the manner of recording the number of people attending these meetings. COPAC revealed that the number of participants at meetings was a rough estimate arrived at by the team members. This means that they look at the size of the crowd and estimate how many men women and youths could be at that particular meeting. This is a very clumsy way of collecting data. A few weeks ago NYDT reproduced a table of statistics released by COPAC on the number of people who have attended meetings so far only to be told that these are rough estimates.
While a formal registration process has been dismissed as being intimidating to residents especially in the rural areas where political violence is likely, even primitive methods like having each person drop a pebble into a container as they walk in, for counting later on, should be considered and could work better. Three or four containers would simply be labelled men, women, youths, special needs and the stones collected afterwards counted for specific numbers.The big question now is how do the teams determine the number of youths from just looking at a large crowd?

Government releases US$1 million for the National Youth fund.
The ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment has finally disbursed funds for youths to start income generating projects through four financial institutions throughout the country. Deputy Minister Tongai Matutu is reported to have said the four banks used are the CBZ, the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe, ZABG and Genesis Bank.
The IDBZ was allocated US$250 000 to promote investments among the youth, Genesis Bank US$150 000 to develop projects on hotel and catering, ZABG US$250 000 to promote enterprise, and commercial farmer training. CBZ, was allocated the largest sum of US$400 000, because it covers most parts of the country since the funds were expected to also benefit youths in rural areas.
Inquiries by NYDT revealed that the CBZ funds were not yet available for access but would be reflecting on Monday the 30th of August however further investigation that was carried out on the 1st of September revealed that no youths have received it yet. The maximum amount for available for a project is now $2000 and the requirements are as listed below.

• LOAN SIZE – $2000 (capital expenditure)

• COLLATERAL( these can be your guardian’s assets)


Of major concern to NYDT currently are allegations that some members of ZANU-PF have started gathering names for the youths in the party and forwarded them to the Ministry so that they access the fund. Although unfounded, these speculations maybe true in that it is common knowledge that ZANU-PF would do anything to make sure that only those who subscribe to their ideology benefit at the expense of the majority. There is no information dissemination that has been done to alert the youths countrywide about this fund as such very few young people have knowledge concerning this fund regardless the fact that it is meant for them. Further more young men and women who are not in ZANU PF and have so far tried to access these funds have been continuously disappointed. The question that arises then is whether this youth fund is a feasible project meant for every young person or is for a few selected ones?
BYC & LYC Elections
Meanwhile the Bulawayo Youth Council wishes to notify the public that the term of office for the youth councillors that were elected in 2009 has come to an end. Fresh elections are currently being conducted in all the wards of Bulawayo. This year’s elective meetings are ward based contrary to the previous one that was in form of a Youth Convention that was held at the Art Gallery. This has been done in order to include as many young people in the democratic process of elections as possible.
The Lupane Youth Council will also be having two meetings this weekend one to elect young people who will represent them in issues of local governance and another one will be a Focus Group Discussion. Details of these meetings are as follows:

Ward 7 (Makokoba)
Venue: Tshaka youth centre
Time: 1400hrs-1600hrs
Date: Friday 10/09/10


Lupane: two (2) meetings
Focus Group Meeting
Venue: Lupane Agenda offices
Time: 0930hrs
Date: Saturday 11/09/10


Elective Meeting
Venue: Makhovula Primary School, Gwampa.
Time: 1200hrs


Nkulumane /Nketa
Venue : Nketa Hall
Time: 2pm
Date: Saturday 11 / 09/ 10

All young people are welcome to participate in these meetings and admission is free.

“Enhancing youth participation through dialogue”


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