- Last Updated on 13 December 2012
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We will fight to the bitter end till our leaders have realised that we are also citizens and leaders should stop treating us like second class citizens on the basis that we are young, the Zimbabwe and Namibian youths have said.
The Zimbabwe youth delegation under the banner of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition and the Namibian Congress of Democrats Youth League (CoDYL) concurred that there is need to form a united front against leaders who think they can rule forever by hoodwinking young people into believing that they are leaders of tomorrow.
The youths were speaking during a notes sharing meeting held in Windhoek, Namibia on December, 12. CoDYL was represented by Secretary General, Sandra Gases and Secretary of Information and Publicity, Raino Regardo Tsamaseb while the Zimbabwe youth delegation comprised of National Youth Development Trust (NYDT) Director, Liberty Bhebhe and Female Students Network (FSN) representative, Chiedza Chiwetu.
CoDYL Secretary for Information and Publicity Raino Tsamaseb conceded that young people face the same challenges in the region.
"The issues you raise about young people's tribulations are not new to us. We are being oppressed by the same liberation movements who believe that by liberating us from the wrenches of apartheid and colonialism, they should continue to enslave us. We now need to tell our story together as young people €, said Tsamaseb.
The CoDYL Secretary General stated that corruption is rampant in Namibia and that there is selective granting of empowerment projects and scholarships to young people in Namibia. She said that development as a phenomenon is a preserve of those aligned to the ruling party.
FSN Representative Chiedza Chiwetu informed the Youth League that corruption is like cancer in Zimbabwe and that it is confined to a particular group of people who are immune to prosecution as a result of their political affiliation. She also mentioned that the Presidential Scholarship in Zimbabwe is highly partisan.
"The issues you raise here in Namibia are the same issues we are grappling with in Zimbabwe. You cannot get a loan to start a project if you are not aligned to a particular political party in Zimbabwe. For us young women , it is even worse because at times, we are forced to go out of our way in order to benefit from programmes that are otherwise deemed to be national and inclusive €, said Chiwetu.
The Namibian young people promised to organise a meeting with government officials so that they can impress upon them to persuade Harare to be transparent and accountable to its own people and to fully implement a gamut of reforms which must pave way for the holding of free and fair elections in Zimbabwe. The youths also agreed to create a Southern Africa Youths social platform for information sharing, solidarity and amplification of issues that affect young people in the region.
The Zimbabwe Delegation is on a four day mission in Namibia to seek support from SADC citizens to urge their governments to put pressure on Zimbabwe to implement key reforms before the next election pencilled for 2013. The key message being driven by the Zimbabwe youths is that Zimbabwe must finalise the constitution making process, eliminate all forms of State sponsored violence, fully implement electoral reforms, realign the security sector , ensure security of persons, be transparent in the management of natural resources and institute a non- partisan youths empowerment initiative before the next harmonised elections.