By Michael Mabwe – Following the week of peace activities convened by Zimbabwe Youth Network (ZIYON) from the 21st to the 25th of September in Harare under the banner of this year’s theme for celebrating International Day of Peace, “Make Peace Happen” the youths of Zimbabwe came up with a declaration on peace and national healing which shall be called the ‘’UKUBAMBANA YOUTH DECLARATION ON PEACE AND NATIONAL HEALING”
Some of the activities that were held from the peace festival include a peace workshop for key stakeholders in the field of peace building, a poetry party, youth peace summit, a concert, youth dialogue forums.
Below is the official version of the declaration that was handed to the government.
We, the young people of Zimbabwe, gathered under the auspices of UKUBAMBANA YOUTH PEACE SUMMIT
Convened by the Zimbabwe Youth Organisations Network (ZIYON) from the 21st to 25th of September 2010
Commemorating the 2010 International Day of Peace,
Desirous to witness the realisation and sustenance of true and lasting peace in Zimbabwe
Committing ourselves to be part of the Zimbabwe Peace Process and the national healing process
Convinced that true national healing can only be achieved through addressing several multiple issues which threaten social stability such as health, governance, economic, social, gender, cultural issues among others
Hereby make the following demands and commit ourselves to the following:-
1. We commit ourselves to be agents and ambassadors of peace, shunning and rejecting violence and further commit ourselves to initiate and take part in all peace related efforts at individual, collective, community, societal, national and international level.
2. We commit ourselves to active and constructive engagement in the economic, social and political processes at all levels. We further commit ourselves to upholding an ethos of transparency and accountability, shunning corruption and apathy.
3. We commit ourselves to peaceful participation and constructive engagement with all stakeholders for the realisation and advancement of our fundamental liberties and rights, including but not limited to gender, health, academic freedoms and all socio-economic and cultural rights.
4. We commit ourselves to the promotion of a peaceful and tolerant political and electoral environment to sustain national stability, prosperity and attainment of meaningful and participatory democracy.
5. We commit ourselves to contribute meaningfully to the national healing processes, and further commit ourselves to reject being used as agents of violence in our nation.
1. We call upon the Government of Zimbabwe to engage in broad based consultation with the youth, towards the implementation of a voluntary, non militarised and non partisan youth training programme for the purpose of imparting critical life skills to the youth, through the school curriculum.
2. We call upon the Government to implement policies and adopt laws, supported by the necessary administrative and technical infrastructure to enhance the economic development, empowerment and emancipation of the youth.
3. We call upon the Government to adopt specific, measures to ensure that state institutions and state machinery are not manipulated by any state and non state actor for the purposes of intimidation, ruthless suppression of dissent, violence or stifling the voice of the youth. We further call upon the Government to ensure that State institutions and state machinery will serve and not subvert the will of the youth through a specific pro-youth regulatory framework of these state institutions and other state machinery.
4. We call upon the Government of Zimbabwe to institutionalise and set up an independent constitutional youth body which shall be responsible for capacity building of the youth, impartation of life skills, youth leadership development, the realisation of a quota representation of youths in government, policy formulation and implementation, decision making, as well as administering over the affairs of the youth, including a special fund for the youth for these purposes.
5. We call upon the Government of Zimbabwe to establish a conducive and enabling political environment to enhance positive youth participation in the political processes, including but not limited to the electoral process, non partisan state media and non partisan state security forces.
Young Voices Network, YCDZ, Development Reality Institute, YCDZ, Great Indaba, Lupane Youth for Development, Contradictions Arts for Development Trust, Joshua Foundation, Zimbabwe Youth Council, Renewal International, SAYWHAT, Students Solidarity Trust, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Youth Committee, Institute for Young Women Development, Ebony and Ivory, Campus Sustained Dialogue Network, WCC, Bornfree, Pacesetters, Youth Agenda, Zimbabwe Jounior Achivement, Zimbabwe Young Women’s Network on Peace Building, Youth in Business Forum, GHYF, PSN, PENYA Trust, Achieve Your Goal Trust, CHRA, ZINASU, Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) Zimbabwe, YWALM, SCMZ, Youth in Business Forum, Platform for Youth Development, Lupane Youth for Development, Youth Forum, The Arts and AIDS Foundation Zimbabwe, Youth Initiative for Democracy Zimbabwe, CSSD, Mbare Residents Trust, Mission to Live, Gutu Youth Forum, Partners for Growth, Forum for Restoration of Democracy, AYJ, Intscha.com, CHOSEN, BABY Zimbabwe, SHEEPGATE, CCDZ, Youth Agenda, NMCS, CPIA, PVN, Youth Alliance for Democracy, YAZ, VOP, Rovambira, Zimbabwe Poets for Human Rights,