It is no secret that the youth have been left out of decision making positions and bodies in Zimbabwe. Since 1980 we have seen a subtle but systemic sidelining of the youth in the corridors of power. Without access to decision making bodies and positions, the youth remain down trodden and irrelevant in policy making. Although there have been recent calls and strides towards the initiation of the 10% youth quota in parliament, this gesture is far from satisfactory as such a quota cannot represent 67.7% of the population. Hence, there is a glaring need for the initiation of fresh and witty quota system constructs for the youth across decision making bodies and institutions to ensure that the voices of the youth are heard.
The youth are blocked from accessing decision making positions and bodies at all levels of society.The Constitution (Section 91) of the country does not allow anyone under the age of forty to run for president.This is a strange provision as in other countries persons can run for the office of president below the age of 40. In France, Emmanuel Macron became president at 39. In our parliament, we have a gender quota based on proportional representation whereby 60 seats are reserved for women. The cabinet is difficult to get into as you have to be a running Member of Parliament or Senate to be elevated to the post of Minister. Only 5 places are available for ministerial selection for non – members of the house. Gender is a constitutional consideration in the selection of Ministers based on (Section 104) of the Constitution. We do not see any youth-centred proclivity in the selection of Deputy Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and directors in government. Not only do we not have a Youth Commission as a country, but the youth are not entitled to any reserved seats in existing commissions whilst women are entitled under the Constitution to half of all seats in all commissions. This concise youth analysis of the national governance structures clearly shows that the youth are not considered to be an important entity in the governance of the country. Thus, they have no say in decisions affecting their welfare and well being. The result of such neglect is that we will continue to see inexplicable youth blind policies and decisions being passed.Such decisions have a negative inter-generational effect of maintaining the bottom class stature of the youth in a country that they are the majority of.
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Source: Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development