Youths urged to not participate in violence.

By Staff Writer

Zimbabwean youth should refuse to be used as weapons of political violence during the
electoral cycle, Lupane residents have said.
Political parties, in breach of the Constitution, have often taken advantage of mostly
unemployed youths to carry out violence in exchange for alcohol or cash.
The Constitution of Zimbabwe, Section 67(2)(b) and (c) emphasises that electoral processes
should be conducted in a peaceful manner. Sections 155 (a) and (d) further provides for
regular peaceful and fair elections which are free from violence and other electoral
Lupane Residents and Ratepayers Association (LURRA) Florence Magagula said it has
unfortunately become a norm that youths participate in political violence.
“Young people need to have something to occupy their minds as that will keep them busy and
from unruly activities during the election period,” said Magagula.
She went on to suggest that the youths could benefit from income generating projects as most
of them have no sources of income which makes them vulnerable to abuse by political actors.
A Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) report of 2022 said the national
unemployment rate for youths (15-34) years was 27 percent. Unemployment rate was highest
among those who had completed upper secondary at 28 percent followed by those with lower
secondary at 22 percent.
ZIMSTAT’s definition of employed people includes subsistence farmers and those in the
informal sector, such as vendors.
A religious minister, Nobuhle Nyathi of Lupane said youths should be part of the decision-
making processes within their political parties rather reserving them for dirty work such as
political violence.
Clause 11 of the Electoral Amendment Bill 2022 added a new paragraph to section 124(1) of
the Constitution providing for 10 youth members to be elected to the National Assembly on a
party-list system, one from each province. To qualify for election the “youths” should be
aged between 21 and 35, and the parties have to list male and female candidates alternately.
The National Peace and Reconciliation Commission is mandated by the Constitution to
ensure peace, unity, reconciliation and the development of preventative actions to ameliorate
conflicts before they occur or to mediate and conciliate in the event that prevention has not
been successful. This feeds into the NPRC’s Mission to “Unite Zimbabweans for sustainable
peace by developing mechanisms to peacefully resolve violent conflicts of the past and
institutionalize approaches for preventing their recurrence in the present and future.”

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