Monday, 25 June 2012

Five key youth demands highlighted

Sunday 24 June 2012- Chegutu- Hundreds of youth gathered yesterday at Welfare Center in Chegutu, Mashonaland West province at the district’s youth forum. The forum was meant to discuss key youth issues as part of the preparations for the forthcoming watershed elections. Mashonaland West province is the home of ZANU PF president, Robert Mugabe, National political commissar Webster Shamu, Ignatius Chombo among other ZANU PF big wigs.

In his address, Clifford Hlatywayo, the Youth Assembly National Spokesperson urged all young people to be united and shun all people who come with an agenda to abuse and divide them. He encouraged youths to contest as councilors or MPs in the forthcoming elections and assured them that the Assembly will support them. On the same issue, Hlatywayo urged the youth to support all candidates who has the youth cause at heart. On socio-economic upliftment, Hlatywayo buttressed the imperativeness for young people to be entrepreneurs and united to fight looting of our national resources. “ZANU PF is practicing a day light robbery in Chiadzwa and by forcefully taking people’s businesses in the name of indigenization. MDC advocates for a broad based economic empowerment program that must benefit all the Zimbabweans including the underprivileged” said Hlatywayo.

The Youth Assembly National Spokesperson went on to highlight key youth demands that the MDC government shall address.

5 Key Youth Demands:
1.        1. Jobs- promoting investment that will enhance the creation of employment for the over 90% who are unemployed.
2.       2. Education and Training- education for all as a right. Reintroduction of grants at colleges.
3.       3. Health- as a right to all. Accessibility of modern HIV testing and prevention methods.
4.    4. Upliftment- positive youth participation and involvement in national socio-economic, political and cultural development
5.       5. Peace and freedom /Security- of persons, property, environment, communities and food.

Richard Vitrinue the Mashonaland West provincial Youth Chairperson castigated ZANU PF for its inherent culture of impunity. “Violence is an old fashioned way of campaigning. People know what they want and they will vote for Morgan Tsvangirai. We have tested good life where majority can afford to buy a loaf of bread every day and everywhere there is $ for two. We are going to campaign vigorously against violence as youth because it’s us who will suffer most” vowed Vitrinue who is popularly known as the Black Russian. He further encouraged the youth to register to vote, vote and defend their vote as a way of guaranteeing a secure future full of jobs, quality, affordable education and sustainable livelihoods. 

The National Executive member representing Mashonaland West province Charlton Hwende who is a youth from Chegutu applaused the youth of Chegutu west constituency for coming up with such an activity. Hwende challenged the young people to remain undivided and fight ZANU PF to retain the constituency. “Youth are leaders of today and tomorrow. As young people we must be inspired by icons such as Nelson Mandela, Morgan Tsvangirai, Gertrude Mtombeni, Learnmore Jongwe, Nelson Chamisa, cde Tongo, Joshua Nkomo among other heroes who dedicated their lives to fight for people’s freedoms and total emancipation” said Hwende.

Member of Parliament for Chegutu West constituency Hon Matibe urged the youth to maintain their vanguard role, protecting and defending the party, its leadership and communities. 

MDC Youth Assembly Information Department

Together to end,building a youth with a difference.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

MDC Youth Assembly Statement on the Day of the African Child Commemorations

16 June 2012

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDCYA) joins the people of Zimbabwe, Africa, Diaspora of African origin and many others across the world in celebrating the Day of the African Child.  

This year’s commemorations are being held under the theme; “The Rights of Children with Disabilities – The Duty to Protect, Respect, Promote and Fulfill”.

This day gives us an opportunity to celebrate exemplary youthful sacrifice and fondly keep the memories of the massacre of many students who were demonstrating against the discriminatory education policies of the apartheid regime in Soweto, South Africa in June 1976.

The demonstrations are popularly remembered as the Soweto Uprising of 1976 and have changed the face of South African and Africa’s politics thereby showing the critical role the young people can play in the political developments in their countries.

Indeed, the youths across Africa and in Zimbabwe in particular, have a crucial role to play, as they are key stakeholders and agents of change in their respective communities and organisations. Young people bring perspectives, knowledge and relationships that lead to better decision making and more productive action. Thus the youths should always have a voice in decisions that affect them.

This day further presents the youths and governments across the continent to take stock of the progress being made towards provision and access to quality health, education, equality and security for all children and the implementation of the regional African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of Children among other important statutes.

As we celebrate this year’s commemorations, we are also celebrating the lives and selfless contributions made by our departed comrades who were brutally murdered, raped and assaulted by the regime. It is in memory of our dear colleagues like Tonderai Ndira, Thabita Marume, Tonderai Machiridza, Gift Tandare, Better Chokururama, Godfrey Kauzani and many others that we remain encouraged and committed in completing the journey that we started and ensure that we deliver Real Change to the people of Zimbabwe.

Our story and struggle for Real Change will be incomplete if we do not cherish and highlight the important role and sacrifices they made in the struggle for democracy in Zimbabwe.

It is disappointing that the democratic space continues to be closed and youth participation stalled by wanton arrests, victimisation and intimidation. The continued incarceration and persecution of the Youth Assembly President Solomon Madzore and 28 others who have been in remand prison for more than a year now is a case in point.

It is disturbing that these innocent people continue to suffer on insubstantial charges and yet nothing has been done to the perpetrators of the 2008 violence and known Zanu PF thugs who raped, maimed and callously murdered innocent Zimbabweans including women and children.

It is within this context that young people should continue to fight and advocate for the creation of an environment that allows positive youth participation; an environment of tolerance and respect among Zimbabweans and that all citizens are treated with dignity and decency irrespective of age, gender, ethnicity or political affiliation.

As the young people of Zimbabwe we should be brave and take great responsibility of ourselves to avoid being used as political pawns.  The youths should remain a critical component of the decision making processes of this nation and the Assembly would like to encourage all young people to live positively and help in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

We urge all youth to stay away from alcohol, substance and drug abuse, for our destiny needs a focused and capable youth ready to tackle the social ills affecting us.

As we celebrate in recognition of the international Day of the African Child theme; The Rights of Children with Disabilities: The duty to protect, respect, promote and fulfill. The MDCYA believes that the progressive rendering of positive momentum to the demands and concerns of children with disabilities in Zimbabwe is vested in the establishment of a socio-economic and political democracy in Zimbabwe that consistent with the needs and sensitivities of children with disabilities.

This is a critical and yet vulnerable constituency whose life is characterised by stigma, intolerance, unresponsiveness, invisibility and fear that is associated with high levels of abuse. It is in our interest as the youth that we maximise support and efforts towards the protection and fulfilment of their fundamental rights.


To this noble end, it is the belief of the MDCYA that the establishment of a democratic system will naturally offer ample public space for the broadening of social and economic support systems for children living with disabilities as well as social enterprises that was pioneered by true national heroes like the late Baba Jairos Jiri whose dedication and contribution to the cause of children with disabilities cannot be overstated.

The role of a robust, efficient and non-discriminatory education system – which was the driving force behind the Soweto Uprisings in 1976 – remains central in the achievement of public fairness and solidarity for children living with disabilities in the whole of independent Africa, and Zimbabwe in particular.

Thus, the MDCYA advocates for the unveiling of more private and public financial and technical support for the purpose of skills development for children with disabilities in ICT, the arts disciplines like music, crafts, etc., and other mainstream socio-economic and political concerns. The MDCYA envisages the national installation of a higher and tertiary education curriculum that is satisfactory to the needs of the country.

Ii is in this vein, that the MDCYA commends the current Constitution-making process in Zimbabwe for affording all people including those with disabilities the critical participatory space.  The new Constitution should therefore, clearly spell out and guarantee their rights. It then becomes our duty and mandate to ensure the protection, promotion, respect and fulfillment of these rights.

The MDCYA will therefore continue to rally its vibrant efforts towards the satisfactory conclusion of the Constitutional reform exercise and the democratization agenda in Zimbabwe.

The MDCYA further calls upon the Global Political Agreement negotiators, the political principals and the SADC facilitation team to ensure that all agreed reforms are implemented and come up with a clear and comprehensive election roadmap that will address the current stalemate in the inclusive government and pave way for peaceful, free and fair elections.

The young people of Zimbabwe’s desires are to see a corrupt free government led by an accountable, reputable and transparent leadership, where jobs, quality and affordable education, health, genuine social and economic upliftment of all people is guaranteed. This, by no doubt, is a government of excellence and only the MDC is capable of delivering such a government as decided by the people of Zimbabwe in March 2008 and will be confirmed once again in the coming elections.

As we commemorate this year’s Day of the African Child, lest we forget that all the wishes and concerns of the young people will only be realized when everyone exercises his or her democratic right of voting for the leadership of their choice.

The MDCYA, therefore, would like to encourage all the young people of Zimbabwe to register as voters, to vote and jealously guard their vote against known election fraudsters. 

For and on behalf of the Youth of Zimbabwe

Clifford Hlatywayo

MDC YA Spokesperson

Together to end,building a youth with a difference.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Another court day for the 29… day 5…

Youth Assembly President: Solomon Madzore
Today, Monday 11 June 2012 at 1000hrs, the 29 are appearing in court again for their 5th day of their trial before Justice Chinembiri Bhunu. They are facing fake charges of murdering a police officer at a popular beer outlet in Glenview on the 29th of May last year.

The 29 are in remand prison most of them since May 2011. This is a clear evidence of absence of justice, law, freedom and the respect of our own constitution and agreements. Their arrest and detention is both political and illegal hence unconstitutional. Last week four out of twenty state witnesses were testifying, no one of them was uttering substance, it was stage managed.

The Attorney General, ZRP Commissioner General and other service chiefs have been open on several instances proclaiming their faithfulness to the former ruling party ZANU PF. On several occasions MDC members and rights activists have been abducted, arrested, tortured, brutalized, detained, beaten, maimed and killed in cold blood by ZANU PF using the securocrats. President Tsvangirai has on several occasions castigated this outrageous behaviors and call for peace. Recently they killed baba Cephas Magura in Mudzi, the killers are known and one of them is a Member of Parliament for Mudzi North, Kachepa, he is a free man.  

The defense council comprising of senior Human rights lawyers Beatrice Mtetwa, Selby Hwacha, Aleck Muchadehama, Charles Kwaramba, Gift Mtisi and Jeremiah Bhamu has submitted fresh Bail application before Justice Bhunu on Tuesday. We are still waiting for the ruling as the trial progresses. On countless occasions the 29 have been denied bail at the High Court, but on this we are still very hopeful.

 They are innocent until proven guilty. They deserve to enjoy their liberty as enshrined in our own constitution, old or new. We demand their immediate and unconditional release.
We remain focused and united in these trying times.
Let’s all come, court O, in solidarity with our cdes.

For and on behalf of MDC Youth Assembly
Clifford Hlatywayo
National Youth Spokesperson

Together to end,building a youth with a difference.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

June- Zimbabwe will forever remember

The month of June will always be remembered by Zimbabweans as a horror month. A month when the masses were subjected to suffering by either work related accidents or at the hands of heartless regime.

There are many incidents that took place during the month of June that makes sad memories to millions of Zimbabweans. I will however dwell on five of these inhuman activities, these are the Wankie Kamandama mine disaster, the Soweto Massacre, Operation Murambatsvina, 2008’s June madness and xenophobia in South Africa.
On June 16, Zimbabwe will join the rest of Africa to commemorate Day of the African Child. This is the day when hundreds of black children were massacred by a white settler regime in South Africa in 1976. It was a black, sad day.

African governments did justice to the innocent souls by honouring this day and committing themselves to promoting children’s rights. All progressive movements in Zimbabwe salute these children who confronted the forces of darkness and injustice head-on. They did not die in vain. It is their blood that oiled the liberation struggle in South Africa. The same blood and spirit that today and forever will inspire young generations of this continent and beyond.

As Zimbabwe celebrates this day; we have to measure the moral commitment of our government in upholding the rights of children. We take stock of our performance and see nothing but abuse of children directly or indirectly. It is not an impressive history. The Zimbabwean political leadership especially those in Zanu PF just like in other African countries, want to use this day for political grandstanding and public posturing while young Africans languish in abject poverty.

For Africa, Zimbabwe included, children’s rights are still a pipe dream. They are better talked about than practised. As long as we remain entrenched in the culture of violence and hate language as a nation, we can not have the future we Nicodemasly preach. For as long as we have child labour and those deadly ZANU Pf youth Border Gezi training camps where innocent young people are polluted with politics of patronage, we remain a shadow of truth.

A nation like ours that has failed to instil moral values in children but continue to pretend all is well will see the results of its omissions and commissions in future generations. It is a fact that many young people have become victims of the present status where the “have” and powerful abuse the “have-not” and vulnerable. They are failing to access basics while the rich and affluent continue with their abusive and greedy ways. If children of the common cannot afford education, health care, decent meals and are forced to participate in programmes they see unfit for future development like the ZANU PF bases and Chipangano, then there are no rights to talk about.

June 16 aside; On June 6 in 1972; 427 lives were lost in a mine disaster at Wankie’s Kamandama mine. Their remains still lay in the shimmering coals. These were bread winners for families whose lives have never been the same again. Zimbabwe remembers horror and honours the victims.

In 2005, Zimbabwe became the world’s newsmaker when merciless Zanu PF descended on the homes of peace loving citizens. They looted property and destroyed the people’s dwellings forcing them to live in the cold. According to Zanu PF, these people were dirt (tsvina) and were supposed to be flushed out hence Operation Murambatsvina.
This was an operation launched by a party that purports to represent the people. It was spearheaded by Ignatius Chombo and Sekesai Makwavarara with the aid of the police and army. Although the operation started in May, it reached its peak in June therefore, it’s June and the chilly weather we will remember most.

It was the worst assault on people’s property and civil rights by a regime that was fighting for political survival as close to a million people were left homeless. It was an act of cruelty by a desperate government that was carrying out its mad and inhuman policies.

As millions were living in the cold, Makwavarara and Chombo were in the comfort of state and council mansions. The source of income for many families was destroyed and children of school going dropped out as Zanu PF was claiming to be people centred. Despite the satanic act by Zanu PF, Chombo the architect of Murambatsvina is still a minister while the affected are living in squalid conditions. They can neither forget nor forgive but wait for judgement day which will come soon.

Horror struck the nation again in 2008 after the watershed harmonised election on 29 March when Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF lost heavily to Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC. The people of Zimbabwe spoke but there was nobody to listen as a defiant and arrogant Mugabe refused to handover power. He instead declared war on the very people. It was not Uhuru as many had expected.

The whole world stood by as Mugabe’s madness got better of him just as it did during the Gukurahundi era of the early 80s.This was the Mugabe who claims to have fought a protracted war with the white settler regime to attain independence, who was turning the barrel on his kith and kin. Mugabe could not imagine leaving statehouse not even in the name of peace and democracy.

Zimbabwe was turned into a war zone as Mugabe unleashed his dogs of war on the peace loving citizens. They raped, maimed, killed and looted in the name of Zanu PF and patriotism and for Mugabe to remain in power. Armed with weird slogans (VaMugabe chete and Win or War; WW), Zanu PF, state security agents had a field day attacking real and perceived MDC supporters, innocent Zimbabweans who deserve to enjoy their democratic rights and freedoms of choice. This is a type of madness that reflects the true image of Zanu PF.

To those who fled to neighbouring South Africa for both economic and political refuge,  failed to test relief as violence erupted (xenophobia) in South Africa in2009. Zimbabweans were targeted most by their South African counterparts. Property worth millions of dollars and lives were lost. Freedom at home and abroad was something much talked about but never existed to ordinary Zimbabweans.

No passage of time will heal this wound as Zimbabweans will forever remember the month of June and its litany of horrors.
Long live Zimbabwe; our beloved nation!!!
Nhamo Moyo is MDC Youth Assembly member based in Mkoba, Gweru.      

Together to end,building a youth with a difference.

Friday, 1 June 2012

MDC Youth Assembly commemorates Africa Day in Zvimba

 Zvimba, 27 May 2012; Hundreds of youths gathered at Nyabire grounds in Zvimba East Constituency on Saturday 26 May to commemorate this year’s Africa Day. 

Africa Day was commemorated this year under the theme, “moment of reflection and celebration”.
The MDC Youth Assembly leadership which comprised of Deputy President Costa Machingauta, Secretary General Promise Mkwananzi and Secretary for Information and Publicity Clifford Hlatywayo graced the occasion and were the guest speakers. 

In his address, Costa Machingauta who was the guest of honor castigated the looting of the much needed national resources by ZANU PF at the expense of poor suffering Zimbabweans replicating the unforgettable fast track land invasion. In complement with this year’s theme “moment of reflection and celebration”, Machingauta buttressed that, “the only reflection that can be witnessed in Zimbabwe is lunatic behavior by ZANU PF who are smuggling Diamonds from Chiadzwa and feeding their own stomachs at the expense of the majority starving population”.  He said Botswana is sustaining her economy from diamond proceeds; easily accessible state funded education for all at all government institutions and provision of good health for all for her citizens. 

He explained how GNU came to existence and what should be done by young people to complete the revolution. “The only way we can make this economy viable, providing its citizens with jobs and where government employees are gainfully remunerated is by registering to vote and subsequently go out in large numbers to vote for Morgan Tsvangirai as President in the forthcoming watershed elections.” He also urged the youth to be prepared to defend their vote from probable gross rigging and brazen disrespect of their will reminiscent of the previous polls since 2000. 

Promise Mkwananzi, the Secretary General of the Assembly expressed concern over how the Youth Fund is being distributed. “The Youth Fund is for all young people in Zimbabwe. ZANU PF is politicizing the fund by using its deadly youth officers for distribution. We are proposing a tripartite arrangement in the allocation of funds; the ministry should set up provincial committees which should be made up of all political parties in the inclusive government so that every person who needs the fund can access it”, charged Mkwananzi. 

“As Africans we are proud to see the realization and adherence of democratic values in certain quarters of the continent as witnessed by the peaceful elections in Zambia and subsequently handing over of power by Dr Rupiah Banda and also the taking over as President in Malawi by madam Banda.” The Assembly Secretary General reiterated the MDC’s position on elections which he said has been unequivocally elaborated in the Conditions for a Sustainable Election in Zimbabwe, (CoSEZ) document. He said the MDCYA will campaign for these conditions, and no elections shall be held without these reforms in Zimbabwe.

Addressing the same gathering, the Youth Assembly Spokesperson Clifford Hlatywayo described Africa Day as a day that symbolizes a practical way of our collective spirit and search for unity and dignity. “The Africa we are all crying for is a strong Africa which is capable of leading and determining its own destiny. Africa day resembles oneness and unity of purpose of Africans’ struggle against dictatorship and oppression”, said Hlatywayo. 

Zvimba is one of the communities that have suffered over spilling and evident traces of the whims of ZANU PF’s brutal character. Oppression, intimidation and harassment have been committed at an alarming rate in areas like Zvimba which ZANU PF blatantly imagines to be its permanent stronghold. “ZANU PF has declared some places no go areas, patronizing and politicizing all state institutions here, and the duty of the youth as vanguards of democracy and pluralism is to reject that and usher in a new order for a sustainable future”, added Hlatywayo.

Other dignitaries who were present at this gathering are National Secretary General of the Women’s Assembly Mai Sibusisiwe Masara, Provincial Chairperson and Secretary, Baba Karemba and Greenwich Ndanga respectively. Mashonaland West Province led by Provincial Youth Chairperson Richard Vitrinue and National Executive member Abigail Sauti was the host.

For the past 12 years the Assembly has been fighting to restore African dignity in Zimbabwe.
Long live Africa, long live African unity…

For and on behalf of young people of Zimbabwe

Youth Assembly Information and Publicity department 

Together to end,building a youth with a difference.