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  • Activity update – 28 October 2013
    National Youth Development Trust
    October 29, 2013


    Constitutional Feedback Meeting: The National Youth Development Trust (NYDT) conducted a meeting with young people at the Small City Hall with the objective of familiarising Bulawayo youths with the contents of the new constitution. The meeting was facilitated by Godwin Phiri of and Mehluli Ndlovu, a lawyer working with the Bulawayo Magistrate’s Office. Ndlovu focused on the rights of Zimbabwean provided for in the Bill of Rights, while Phiri concentrated more on the governance side of the constitution. Attendance at the meeting was 60 percent female and 40 percent male participants.

    Key issues raised at the meeting were that the constitution stipulates that there is need for youth empowerment projects. However, the norm has been that funds meant for youth development are awarded on partisan lines and the projects chosen are generally not innovative. Additionally there was an observation that most of the freedoms awarded to young people come with limitations that make them subject to misinterpretation by law enforcement agents. These provisions are also currently not in sync with existing legislation such as AIPPA and POSA. The youths also said that Government seemed to be avoiding most of its responsibilities by using the phrase "within limits of the resources available to it." This phrase is mostly used in the sections on the rights to education, health care as well as food and water.

    The young people also called on the NYDT to build the capacity of more young volunteers who would then take up the challenge of sharing details of the constitution with others in their communities. They said that in many instances young people suffered abuse because of lack of knowledge about their rights. The NYDT continues to conduct Constitutional Feedback meetings in various wards in Bulawayo and other areas in Matabeleland.


    Constitutional Feedback Meeting: The NYDT held a Constitutional Feedback meeting in Jotsholo, a ward in Lupane. Participants in the meeting were drawn from Manganganga, Ngondo and Gundwane villages. The meeting was attended by more young women than young men. Mr Vumani Ndlovu facilitated the meeting. The discussion dwelt mainly on the Bill of Rights as the young people expressed great interest in knowing their constitutional rights. They said that many a times they have suffered violations of their rights due to ignorance, giving the example of arbitrary arrests. The young people said the rights of arrested persons were very important in their community because of the unfair treatment they receive from police officers. They also queried the exemption of women from the death sentence saying it was contradictory to the constitutional provision of gender equality.

    The chapter on systems of government was also applauded by young people who said the centralised system of governance was a disadvantage to them. They however, raised a lot of questions regarding how the provincial assemblies would operate and their relationship with central government. The young people also called on the NYDT to implement follow up activities to the meeting as one meeting could not exhaust the entire constitution. The youths were also encouraged to read the constitution and discuss it within their wards.


    Political Parties Forum: The NYDT held a political parties forum in Umzingwane ward 2 on Saturday October 26, 2013. The forum was held under the theme: “Setting The Youth Agenda: Priorities For The New Zimbabwe Government.” Three political parties managed to send representatives to the meeting, MDC, Zapu and MDC-T.

    The young people emphasised the need to unite when dealing with youth development issues, regardless of their different political preferences. They indicated the need to engage the Minister of Youth on a regular basis since he is not young and might not be the best person to represent the youth interests. The young women also expressed concern over the fact that the minister is male hence young women’s issues might be sidelined if they do not play an active role in engaging him. They lamented the shortage of information about key processes and opportunities such as the youth fund. Some of the young people castigated the administrators of the youth fund saying they merely rejected their proposals without indicating why. As such they called on the NYDT to further intensify its efforts of representing the youths even in terms of ensuring that they benefit from national projects. The political parties’ forums have proved to be an effective way of bringing young people together to discuss common issues regardless of political differences. As a result of such forums, young people are beginning to realise the need to separate party politics from youth development issues.

    Visit the National Youth Development Trust fact sheet

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