By Tafadzwa Muranganwa
AN association of local youth organisations is pushing for a meeting with President Emmerson Mnangagwa (pictured) to register its concerns, top among them being overlooked for cabinet posts.
Speaking at a meeting held in Harare on Wednesday, National Association of Youth Organisations (NAYO) director Misheck Gondo said the organisation will rally its member groups to seek audience with the country’s new leader within the next 60 days.
“We are contemplating to meet with our member organisations so that we can write to the president to seek a dialogue with him on several issues affecting the youths,” he said.
Gondo said while the appointment of Sithembiso Nyoni as minister in charge of both women and youth affairs in the recent merger of some ministerial portfolios, youths were still not too pleased with the simultaneous appointment of Pupurai Togarepi, a non-youth, as deputy.
“I have heard people saying maybe the appointment of Sithembiso Nyoni could be acknowledged because of the merging, hence she coming from the women side would then do a motherly role in youth affairs but what about the then appointment of the deputy minister Pupurai Togarepi who is past the age of being a youth,” said Gondo who recently represented Zimbabwe at the Africa-Europe Youth Summit held in Abidjan in Ivory Coast.
The NAYO director reiterated that the new dispensation presents an opportunity for people to engage with its leadership as it tries to win the hearts of citizens.
Namatai Kwekweza of We Lead Trust said the youths should not cry foul over the absence of many youthful ministers in the new cabinet but should rather be pro-active in fighting to occupy those spaces.
“I have heard many pouring their disgust on the new cabinet for not including the youth but my suggestion is that we assert ourselves to assume leadership positions so that we can craft policies that best suit us,” she said.
Dubbed the 4th AU-EU youth summit feedback meeting, the event was graced by the EU ambassador Philippe Van Damme, youth organisation representatives and youths in general.