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Youth participation and Matabeleland government system

The government system we deserve will not create itself and just walk into our lounges; we need to stand up, build it and the gates that allow it into every household. If we want change, we need to appreciate that the major responsibility lies in participation.

Matabeleland’s political future lies in an organisation and a leader ready to govern and ready to lead, not just protest organisations and leaders. We now need to take up and take control of our affairs. Take control and focus away from ZANU PF and all other Zimbabwe orientated organisations and leaders.

We are not delusional as to expect the arrogant political elite to free us from ZANU PF politics, their personal interests are intertwined with the corruptible system. We are not stupid to fall into the trap of ZANU PF tribalism; tribalism is intrinsically wrong, and we are under no illusion that systems based on it will not improve our security but damage the social fabric of our diverse and great nation.

Our choice government will be one bound up with, and exuding, our cultural, social and moral values and a strong desire for freedom and liberty. The ideal government system for Matabeleland must respond to Matabeleland needs and not be a reaction to ZANU PF policies. ZANU PF is a tribal institution created in response to ethnic Shona people and Mashonaland needs and it has stayed faithful to its foundational principles and responsibilities.

It is therefore, little surprise that ZANU PF’s focus has never been Matabeleland needs. Instead, ZANU PF government has been a prolific abuser of Matabele rights and an unrepentant schemer against the development of Matabeleland.

In short, Matabeleland’s interests have been an unwelcome inconvenience, if not a distraction, to ZANU PF’s core duty of protecting Mashonaland creed turned into law. Relying on ZANU PF to protect Matabeleland freedom and liberty is no different from asking hyenas to protect our livestock.

Raising issues of ZANU PF’s abusive political role in Matabeleland is neither an attempt at gaining external sympathy nor revelling in victimhood; this is a calculated reminder of the ruthless tyranny of ZANU PF and thus, fundamental in educating our youth to appreciate the need for a change.

We have a responsibility to shut down all avenues to a possibility of grooming a bad government; let us open spaces for expressions of public opinion to confront and correct our leadership. This can only be achieved when the public is organised and the elite is constructively denied the self-prescribed right to control information.

This is where I implore our youth to connect with our struggle for liberation. We need the youth to appreciate that all men and women, including the youth participation was vital in the fight against colonial systems and that the future of Matabeleland is dependent on the participation of all our citizens.

The youth need to be part of the political changes we want. Matabeleland is a young population but that is not reflected in formal political participation. To make our politics relevant to a huge and largely untapped reserve of at least 20 percent of our population, we need to create a political system that increases political access to youths.

Political participation by our youths needs to be meaningful and effective, going beyond token gestures; we must include them in formal decision-making processes. We have no excuse for keeping men and women in their 40s and 50s as youth leaders. Decisions about youth policy must be informed by youths, and not by the often irrelevant elderly men and women.

The challenge for the youth is to make themselves available to take up their rightful positions in Matabeleland politics; as alluded to earlier, the youth need to understand they have the responsibility to participate in the political life of the region. We require their technological expertise to administer youth targeted websites and within the social media to catapult the Mthwakazi agenda.

We desire a proactive Matabeleland governance that accommodates everyone, not some. The greatest betrayal of our politics is the exclusion of at least 20 percent of our population from participation. Let us open doors to the youth to formally engage in the politics of their country.


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