Heal Zimbabwe joins the rest of the world in commemorating International Youth day today. This years’ commemorations are running under the theme, “The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Consumption and Production”. The theme focuses on the leading role of young people in ensuring poverty eradication and achieving sustainable development through sustainable consumption and production.
This year’s commemorations are taking place against a background where there is rapid unemployment among the youths in Zimbabwe. The high rates of unemployment have been exacerbated by economic collapse and corruption which have necessitated the youths to carry out a series of peaceful protests countrywide. Through various Youth Movements such as #Tajamuka/Sesijikile, youths across the country have lamented against the deteriorating economy and the scourge of unemployment that continues to greatly affect their participation in contributing towards ensuring poverty eradication and achieving sustainable development.
Section 20 of the Constitution states that, “the State should ensure that youths are afforded opportunities for employment and other avenues of economic empowerment”. For Zimbabwe, this years’ theme offers an opportunity to reflect on progress made in attaining such a constitutional provision. The same section of the constitution also compels the state to also ensure that youths are protected from all forms of abuse. Given past violent electoral periods such as 2008, where there was total economic collapse and high levels of unemployment, it is not debatable that most youths who were abused by political entrepreneurs to perpetrate violence were unemployed.
In addition, when youths exercise their constitutional rights such as petition and peaceful protests to demand jobs from the government, it becomes imperative that such rights are not violated by unlawful arrests or assaults. On the occasion of this year’s Youth day commemorations, Heal Zimbabwe implores the government to uphold and promote a culture where youths enjoy their human rights. To commemorate this important day, HZT in collaboration with Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe ( RTUZ) will host a youth sports for peace tournament at Mushayavanhu Business Centre, Gutu where teachers’ teams are expected to battle it out with community teams tomorrow 13 August 2016.