Without exposure, talented youths in Binga rural remain stagnant.
Richard Mwinde believes he is talented in soccer that, all things being equal, he can play in the topflight league in Zimbabwe. Unfortunately, Richard’s talent is wearing away in the dust community grounds in rural Binga.
Many youths in Binga wonder how the famous Ndlovu brothers of Adam, Madinda and Peter made it to stardom from such remote areas. Some villagers say it is the role of the local authorities and the government to create opportunities for youth in sporting activities and socio-economic programs.
“Government should rollout programs which empower youths. We are far away from the cities and our young talented people lack opportunities compared to those in urban areas. I believe they must be exchange programs in various socio-economic areas,’’ says Dubeko Muzingili.
In 2017, Zimbabwe’s Youth Civil Society Organisations launched a program called ‘Leave No Youth Behind’ in line with the African Union Agenda 2063, Africa Youth Charter and Africa Governance Architecture.
Three years later, the Office of the High commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) study on youth and human rights in the country noted that regardless of the enactment of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No.20) Act 2013 section 20, the Zimbabwe Youth Council Act, Chapter 25:19 has not yet been aligned to the constitution and, there is need to repeal laws that limit youth rights such as the Zimbabwe Youth Council Act.
Many talented youths in various sporting disciplines in Binga have remained unrecognised due to a lack of opportunities in the area. Sinampande is one of the areas with a built-up youth centre.
In Sinampande, the infrastructure had turned to a paddock for domestic animals pastures, until this year. Other youth centres remain undeveloped.
Article 12 of the African Youth Charter obligates state parties to develop all-inclusive and lucid national youth policies following all-encompassing consultation with young people.
Praise Munsaka says, the purpose of such national youth policies is to provide strategies for youth participation in decision making at all levels of governance in issues concerning the youth and societies they live in.
“We have many talents in this area. Unfortunately, to develop no one is interested to come here and scout us. Our challenges are exposure and opportunities, which must be addressed in the national youth policy,” says Munsaka.
Youths in Binga remain behind unlike in other areas where youth centres are fully operational, young people are engaging in socio-economic thematic areas of business and job creation, education, environment and climate change, governance and political inclusion, arts, sports and culture.
Obey Muchimba a youth in Nagangala pleads for more youth centres in Binga rural, where most young people live. “Interaction among youths through sporting, seminar and social programs and education skills can help us to fight social evils like HIV/AIDS, poverty and drug abuse,” he says.
Ministry of Youths, Sports, Arts and Recreation representative in Binga, Samuel Mugande could not answer the questions forwarded to him by this reporter. Binga North MP Prince Dubeko Sibanda acknowledged the issues affecting youth and promised to respond later which he did not by the time of going to print.
Binga Rural District Council Head of Social Services Department, Lovemore Siamuyi admits that youth centres have been neglected for a long time. However, he says the council is working to ensure facilities in rural areas are functional with the latest being the renovation of a youths centre in Sinampande.
Speaking to The Citizen Bulletin, Binga Rural District Council Chief Executive Officer Mr Joshua Muzamba says the council is alive to the development of youths in the area.
“We have a lot of programs for our youths through our department of social services. All the programs are to develop skills within our youths and make them relevant to the modern world opportunities,” says Muzamba.
Annual Youth Situation Analyses conducted by the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation under one of its arms, the Zimbabwe Youth Council (ZYC), for the past years shows that Zimbabwean youth, face challenges such as high unemployment rates, limited educational opportunities, limited civic engagement opportunities, teenage pregnancy, and early marriage especially those in rural areas.
Another survey conducted by the Zimbabwe Youth Task Force and coordinated by the National Association of Youth Organizations (NAYO) in 2017, in partnership with the African Union (AU) and European Union (EU noted challenges faced by youths as high unemployment, limited civic space for effective participation in economic and political spaces and drug abuse.
Source: The Citizen Bulletin