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Weekly activity update - Week ending 28 January 2013
National Youth Development Trust
January 28, 2013


Political Party Forum: The National Youth Development Trust convened a political party forum at Stanley Hall in Makokoba on Saturday January 26, 2013. The forum, which was held under the theme: "Youth the epicentre in building a peaceful and democratic Zimbabwe," was attended by young people from ZANU PF, ZAPU, MDC-T and MDC. The young people from across different political divides were in agreement to the fact that there is need to face the upcoming election in the most peaceful manner.

Although youth leaders from ZANU PF, MDC-T and MDC stated that they were ready for elections this year, the two MDCs flagged some issues that they said needed to be addressed before the election, even after the completion of the constitution making process. These issues include security sector transformation and media reforms. They indicated that as long the structures of political violence are still in place it will not be possible for the next election to be free and fair. They also alluded to the fact that as long as the media is still polarised, information dissemination will continue to be biased and this has a negative effect on people's electoral participation.

With regards to the draft constitution, the youth representatives from the three political parties in the Inclusive Government (ZANU PF, MDC-T and MDC) declared that they were mobilising young people for a yes vote in the upcoming referendum. They however said that once elected they will amend certain provisions in the current draft which they know were not said by the people. ZAPU on the other hand outlined that the final contents of the draft constitution were yet to be made public hence they could not declare how they would vote as yet.

Worth noting at the meeting was the fact that all political parties encouraged youths to contest in the next election. They also encouraged each other to unite in promoting youth issues regardless of political party orientation. Thus, the meeting served as a platform for promoting unity of purpose, political tolerance, interaction and peaceful coexistence amongst young people from across political divides. It is the hope of NYDT that the political party forums will help promote peace ahead of the general elections.


Young Women's Study Circle: Young women in Silozwe village in Matobo ward 16 held a study circle facilitated by National Youth Development Trust. The meeting was meant to serve as a platform for young women to deliberate on issues that affect them in order to enhance their capacity to identify and articulate specific advocacy issues for young women.

Amongst the issues identified was migration that most claimed was increasing the burden of care amongst the young women who remain behind after their relatives leave them with children to look after. This was said to be affecting them financially as well as adding to time that these young women face thereby reducing their ability to engage in economic activities. Linked to the issue of the burden of care was the fact that the nearest clinic was said to be at least 10 kilometres away from the village while the nearest referral hospital is almost 100 km away. This was identified as a major challenge because in the event of someone getting sick, either it is these young women who have to travel that distance to take them to hospital amid transport challenges, or they are left behind to make domestic decisions and do all household chores in the absence of their mothers. As such they felt that the absence of a clinic or hospital that is accessible to them was an issue that compromised health care service delivery and hence requires urgent attention.

Unemployment and poor economic activity was also said to be a major issue as most of the challenges faced by these young women were tied to lack of income. They identified the Matobo National Park as a key resource around them yet raised concerns over the fact that the National Parks and Wildlife Authority was importing employees from outside rather than employing locals even for positions they qualified in. The young women also highlighted that assistance in the form of capital to initiate income generation projects would be a noble idea. The NYDT will hold more such meetings in different villages in Matobo to identify common advocacy issues to be taken up by these young women with the assistance of the organisation.

Visit the National Youth Development Trust fact sheet

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