Articles

Youth Forum under Attack!

Bikita - Well known ZANU (PF) youths, masquerading as the dreaded Central Intelligence Officers (CIO) have wantonly victimized Youth Forum activists in Bikita for using sports kits that were donated by the Youth Forum to its activists in the area as part of its "Youth Voter Registration" Campaign which saw many kits being donated in various areas around the country.

The notorious ZANU (PF) youths, led by Blessing Chinondiwana, Ngonidzashe Taruwona and one young woman known as Amai Mukaro, visited of the Forum's activists demanding to know why these activists were using the sports kits they received from 'an organization that is not friendly to our ZANU PF'. They claimed to have been sent by the state saying they were CIO agents and demanded to see the sports kits. After realizing that the kits had nothing political or anti-ZANU PF scribbled on them, they then wanted to confiscate the kits but the alert Youth Forum activists advised them that what they were about to do was tantamount to stealing or robbery after which they chickened out and threatened to come back and deal with the youths as they first wanted to seek permission from their seniors.

What is disturbing in these developments is that the kits donated are meant to benefit all youths from across the political divide as the Forum is a political but apolitical organization which serves the interest of all Zimbabwean youths regardless of political affiliation, race, gender, religion or any other basis of discrimination.

The Youth Forum, after identifying sport as a unifier of youths from different backgrounds, donated sports kits and balls in various districts that are meant to be used by the youths from these districts in coming together and discussing issues that affect them regardless of political affiliations and encourage each other to register as voters and vote for candidates that work for the improvement of the youth situation in the country. Despite these minor setbacks, the program has gone on well with reports that youths from the districts receiving the kits are congregating and using the kits effectively every week.

Meanwhile, the Youth Forum is still battling with the police from Masvingo province after being denied a police clearance for holding a Roadshow to celebrate International Women's Day as well as encourage young people, especially young women, to register and vote in all the forthcoming elections. The event was penciled for 10 March 2012 in the country's oldest town of Masvingo and has now been rescheduled for Saturday 24 March in the same province but now at Mupandawana Growth Point in Gutu.

Masvingo province police last year showed the highest levels of confusion after initially clearing the Youth Forum's International Youth Day Celebrations in Augusts before barricading the entrance to the venue (Tshovani Stadium in Chiredzi) demanding the event could not go on because a ZANU PF MP who was scheduled to speak at the event decided to abscond. The event finally took off after protracted negotiations with the authorities and was very successful attracting hundreds of youths from within and outside the province.

These minor impediments and obstacles will not deter the young men and women of Zimbabwe in fighting for their empowerment and recognition in all aspects of life, all they can do is give us more power and vigor to press on with reforms that will see the youth becoming an integral part of the society.

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Youth Forum Information and Publicity Department
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Promoting Informed Participation of Youths in National Development.

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