Beitbridge youths bemoan of consultation by elected leaders

Youths in Beitbridge are lamenting the fact that the elected politicians are not going back to consult their constituencies on critical national issues.

They said that their Member of Parliament, Kembo Mohadi and Senator, Tambudzani Mohadi (husband and wife) have not held any consultative meetings in Beitbridge since their election into office. This, they said is an indicator that if the draft constitution is to be debated in parliament, the legislators should do more to consult their constituencies so as to truly represent their views.

Young people, who were speaking during a youth Peace Dialogue Meeting organized by the National Youth Development Trust (NYDT) in Matulungundu area of Nuli in Beitbridge, queried why an important document that requires the input of all Zimbabweans should be debated by a few politicians who have already taken a national process and made it theirs.

“Why should the draft constitution be debated in parliament as if it is a bill when it is in fact the supreme law of the land?” complained one of the young people in Beitbridge.

The youths strongly criticized the partisan approach in the constitution making process, lamenting that it was sidelining them. They however, agreed that they needed to play a significant role in the remaining stages of the constitution making process.

“We (the youths) should be more concerned about the content of the new constitution so that we can participate from an informed position. We need to know all contents of the draft constitution if we are to vote in the referendum and make meaningful contribution to the governance of our country,” said one of the discussants at the meeting.

The meeting, whose thrust was to ensure that youths peacefully participate in national issues, also saw the youths discussing the need to desist from resorting to politically motivated violence. NYDT Programmes officer, Bhekumusa Moyo expressed disappointment to the fact that young people were always at the centre of all disorderly activities.

“It is disappointing to note that in every community where a stone is being thrown, a house is being burnt and a violent rally is taking place, youths have always been at the epicenter of such mal practices. It is therefore imperative that youths move from being perpetrators of violence to peace ambassadors who play a fundamental role in ensuring that the country achieves positive peace,” he said.

Other concerns aired in the meeting included the fact that there is little information accessible to the youths in the rural areas about key national processes. They said that the lack of information and platforms discussions were some of the reasons why they were not effectively participating in such crucial processes. They also lamented unemployment and lack of other opportunities as a factor that makes them susceptible to abuse by politicians.

NYDT is currently conducting the peace dialogue meetings and other activities, to ensure that young people who have constantly been used by politicians to be perpetrators of violence become peace builders who are also active participants in key national processes such as the oncoming referendum and general elections

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