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Statement by National Youth Development Trust on violent occurrences during the Parliamentary portfolio committee consultative meetings
National Youth Development Trust
October 25, 2011

National Youth Development Trust is appalled by the behavior and conduct of some youths who have taken a deliberate stance to disrupt progressive consultative meetings that provide Zimbabweans an opportunity to shape democratic transition processes. The recent orgy of violence that has characterized public consultations on policy issues are an indication of the regressive nature of some political parties that continue to bus young people to these meetings for the purposes of disrupting progress.

A case in point is the violent occurrences at Mucheke hall in Masvingo on Wednesday October 19 as well as at the Bulawayo City Hall on Friday October 21, 2011 that led to the desertion of the meetings. The parliamentary portfolio committee on, Justice, Legal, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, consultative meetings on the Zimbabwe Electoral Amendment Bill were violently disrupted by youths who tried to suppress contributions from other people during the meetings. Such expressions of a lack of tolerance amongst these youths are a strategy being used by their sponsors to make intolerance of political dissent a postcolonial culture with a consequent effect of derailing democratization processes in Zimbabwe.

What is disheartening, and deserving strong condemnation, is the continuous use of young people as perpetrators of violence during these disruptions. Such anoetic behavior, by these youths, is surely an appearance of the sad realities of ideological indoctrination from a regime that is refusing to die. The net effect of such indoctrinations have been the survival of a Zimbabwe with a terribly stunted democratic culture, antipathy towards and hatred of democracy; and disdain for human rights, tolerance and pluralism.

In a political climate, like the one prevailing in Zimbabwe, where the old is dying and the new cannot be born, it becomes inevitable for the consequent political vacuum to be occupied by political monsters. The disruption of meetings facilitating citizen participation in legislative reforms is part of a reflection of a monster occupying the political vacuum hence the speed traps on the train of transition and attempts to extinguish the embers of democratisation.

As part of the development of a new social contract between citizens and their leadership, there is a need to rebuild the people's confidence in political processes by;

  • Allowing space for various institutional and legislative reforms, which are needed to recreate the state, as a sensitive and people-oriented institution.
  • Compelling political players to start building a culture of tolerance
  • Ensuring that state security institutions conduct themselves in a non-partisan and apolitical manner
  • Exorcising the ghost of political violence through a proper national healing process as a basis for building a peaceful, tolerant and just Zimbabwe.

Most importantly, NYDT urges young people to desist from engaging in violent behavior for cheap political gains.

Visit the National Youth Development Trust fact sheet

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