By Mpumelelo Ndlovu
If there is an issue which seriously needs to be interrogated it is that of young people representing the party as Parliamentary and Council candidates in the forthcoming national elections .This has been made to be an issue by people who thrive on the sickening stereotype that young people are prone to drunkenness, rowdiness and all other such misconceptions and therefore cannot be trusted with such leadership positions .Prompted by this, one has to respond inspired by the clarion call of Amilcar Carbral to at all times tell the truth and not claim easy victories.
So, are the young people biting off more than they can chew? The answer is a clear and unambiguous no! It is no secret that the youth have worked tirelessly for the party to be where it is now. Their hard work will therefore be recognised by leadership at various levels beginning with the branches.
Young people are the most affected by the socio-economic challenges facing Zimbabwe. The youth have a role to play in addressing the issues that affect them the most as they have a better understanding of them. Talk of HIV/AIDS, Unemployment, Political violence, Education and alcohol abuse. Government has continuously failed to address these issues .For instance ,studies have shown over the years that alcohol is a leading cause of the decay of moral fibre in our society yet nothing has been done to stop this scourge.
History has shown that when a struggle is at its decisive moment young people have to take ownership of the struggle or rather play a more frontline role .One will remember a young Fidel Castro who led Cubans to victory in Havana after the overthrow of Batista. In neighbouring South Africa the struggle gathered pace after the formation of the Youth League and the Soweto uprising. Examples abound, therefore the role of young people cannot be overlooked. Those that perpetuate the lie that the youth are too young and have to grow...and are inexperienced are parroting a dangerous line which has been directed against our struggle for the past 13 years and has failed.
Generational mix is not just about having young people in leadership positions, it ensures organisational survival and making sure that the movement remains attractive to new members and especially young voters.
This is a clarion call to all Youth candidates not to be afraid to face the people because the masses judge based on performance and ours is well chronicled. Never be afraid to be associated with the truth at all times. Let us not make the mistake of seeking the mandate of the young people alone, we need the mandate of all the people.
Being a Youth is about Discipline, being ideologically conscious and radical as well as respect for the Leadership.
Together to the end, Building a Youth with a difference!
Mpumelelo Ndlovu, bona fide member of MDC,
MDC Youth Assembly National Organising Secretary
Activist and Revolutionary
Together to end,building a youth with a difference.