International Youth Day 2010, This Is Ours, Its Our Time!

By Ronie Mureverwi – The youth movement in Zimbabwe joins the entire world to commemorate the international Youth Day 2010. This year’s theme focuses on Dialogue and Mutual understanding. It is not only interesting to note the developments that have shaped Zimbabwe’s body politic during these historical times but also to locate the role of the youth at every level stage.

Whether we are in pre-transition or going through the actual transition, there is general consensus that Zimbabwe is aligning itself to come out of a legacy of past mishaps that defined the past decade. At the centre of the motivation inspiring the reform/transition agenda is the acceptance that there has to be a change of leadership style or governance model to catch up with the 21st century demands of a democratic society.

Celebrating the International Youth Day, the youth of Zimbabwe are confronted with the painful truth that they do not possess the future. Whether it is by design, default or volition that they (youth) have been relegated to the dust bins when it comes to issues of governance, the effect is the same. It is sad that the youth are smeared into blatant lack of understanding of the current season that the nation is in. Zimbabwe is going through historic times as the nation is in the process of writing a constitution for the first time since independence. For the first time the country is found in a governance model of a coalition government. Since independence this is the first time that a national response to bringing national healing has been assumed as an official mandate by the government of Zimbabwe.

The transitional era is a time of alignment, new beginnings, restoration, re-ownership, re-birth, re-orientation, goal setting, self introspection, monitoring and evaluation. Achieve your Goal Trust would like to challenge the youth movement of Zimbabwe that if they are going to make an impression for Zimbabwe, they have to understand that the future will not be delivered at silver platter. Someone has to stand up and voice, someone has to stand up and demand ownership, someone has to stand up and seek clarification, someone has to seek active participation, someone has to historically own our historical legacy in order to appreciate the future.

The youth movement has to fully comprehend how they should be in synergy with the older generation that delivered independence through the liberation struggle. Failure to do so will vindicate the older generation’s myth that the youth generation born after independence has no understanding whatsoever of how Zimbabwe was birth from colonial rule. Lack of mutual understanding and dialogue between the new generation youth movement and the liberation struggle generation will work against the latter and it means denial of access to the national discourse.

History is packed with evidence of what a vibrant youth movement can do to contribute towards nation building. In the recent constitutional referendum in Kenya, the youths were the powerful force behind it denoted by the high percentage turn out of the number who voted. It is therefore pertinent for the youths of Zimbabwe and Africa at large to understand the principles that cement stronger democratic societies. Folding arms and passiveness s is not the best strategy to assume ownership and responsibility. It is time to move away from the defeatist mentality which feeds on finding somewhere to lay blame and make noise about why things are not moving.

This is the time for the youth to assume a new mindset and fill the leadership vacuum that has besieged Africa for so long.

The reason why the youths have been available to be manipulated and seduced to sell their birth right by greedy self serving politicians is that, they have been idle for too long. An entire generation of youthful energy has been proverbially seduced to trade its title deeds and ownership into the future by unthinkable gifts like drugs, cheap alcohol, misinformation, outdated propaganda. This is the time for Zimbabwe youths to understand that they are a movement called to a specific season, response and relevant priorities of significance.