Youth Decide Zimbabwe (YDZ) team leader Learnmore Munhangu has argued that parliament is able to enact the National Youth Act in time for the 2023 elections.
Although youths in Zimbabwe make up about 67.7% percent of the population, they face socio economic and political exclusion.
As a result, youth led organizations have been advocating for youth inclusion in the political and economic sphere.
Guiding principles of the National Youth Bill were authorized by the cabinet in September 2020.
However, three years later, neither the bill’s text nor its guiding principles have been made available to the general public.
In an interview with Open Parly ZW Munhangu raised concern over the secrecy surrounding the principles of the National Youth Bill.
“The principles of the bill are nowhere to be found.
“The Minister did not bother to make them (principles of the draft bill) public although they were basic principles announced through a cabinet briefing in September 2020.
“The draft principles of the Bill were submitted to the office of Attorney General about two years ago but up to now, nothing has come out of it,” said Munhangu.
The YDZ team leader insists that there is enough time before the elections to enact the youth friendly law.
“We still have four to five months until the General Elections, and I believe the time is still on our side.
“What has been lacking is the political will and not time. Time was never a problem at all.
“They are pushing the PVO Amendment Bill, Patriotic Bill like there is no tomorrow. What is stopping them to do the same for the Youth Bill?” said Munhangu.
Furthermore, Munhangu said the law will address and harmonize the various pieces of legislation and policies currently in use.
“The Youth Act will guide, inform and defend youth participation in socioeconomic, political and electoral processes in Zimbabwe.
“Currently there are guiding pieces of legislation which are in harmony with Section 20 of our National Constitution.
“The National Youth Policy that we have is ultra vires and unimplementable without a guiding legal document.
“We also have the Zimbabwe Youth Council Act in place, which is now inconsistent with the Constitution, as already ruled by the Parliament of Zimbabwe a few years ago.
‘National Youth Act will liberate and empower ZYC as the quasi-government department which deals with issues in a national and comprehensive manner,” he added.