Zimbabwe: Youths Push for a Voice in Parliament

Zimbabwe Legislators (Photo: You Tube).

Harare: Zimbabwe’ Parliamentary committee on Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation is studying a petition by the youth demanding laws guaranteeing a 30% representation at all levels for the youth.

The Community Youth Development Trust (CYDT) in August petitioned Parliament protesting lack of youth representation from the district up to the national level as they demanded a 30% quota.

One provision of the recently proposed Constitutional Amendment is the addition of ten youth quota seats in Parliament.

The CYDT in its petition argued this is not enough as they demanded a 30% quota.

Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda said the petition has since been referred to the Parliamentary committee on Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation.

“I have to inform the house that on Wednesday 23 September, 2020, Parliament received a petition from the CYDT based in Gwanda requesting Parliament to enact laws to protect the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the youth to be fairly represented at all levels starting from the district to the national level.

“The petition has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation,” Mudenda told Parliamentarians.

CYDT chairperson Zanele Nyathi in a letter accompanying the petition raised concern that failure to have a 30% constitutional support youth quota deprives them the right of full representation.

“Therefore, it is against this background that on behalf of youths from Matabeleland South Province we request your office to submit to parliament the request to have a constitutionally supported youth quota that provides for at least 30% youth representation,” Nyathi’s accompanying letter reads in part.

The CYDT in the petition argued they approached Parliament to ensure the rights of the youth are constitutionally guaranteed.

“Now therefore your petitioners beseech the Parliament of Zimbabwe to…protect the constitutionally guaranteed right for the youths to be fairly represented at all levels starting with district to national level platforms,” the petition reads.

It adds: “Promote youth ability to battle it alone during an electoral process – ensure ZEC set aside constituencies where youths are able to contest each other. This will see a significant increase of youth representation at parliament and local governance.”