By Staff Reporter
CALLS are growing louder for the introduction of a law ensuring a 50% youth quota in Parliament.
Zimbabwe’s young legislators, who have taken up the initiative, describe the current situation as embarrassing.
Parliamentarians were making contributions to a motion moved by their counterpart Tatenda Mavetera in the National Assembly on Tuesday calling for an enabling Act guaranteeing youth quota representation.
The young MPs want the current proposed constitutional amendment reserving 10 seats for youths discarded in favour of a 50% quota.
In her motion, Mavetera argued for up to a 50% share for the youth.
“We are now marginalised on the demographic dividend, which we are saying we have got the large numbers and for that alone, we are just hoping and it is a fervent call, not that we are demanding,” Mavetera said.
“We have had the National Youth Policy and not a National Youth Act…there is no enforceable law that enables us as young people to be able to be recognised.”
A number of MPs supported the motion with Gweru legislator Brian Dube adding that “we must feel embarrassed” not to have a law guaranteeing youth quota representation.
“What we are talking about is that we must come up with a law. It must not come as a voluntary gesture or a generosity when we are dealing with issues of the youths,” Dube said.
“Is there any reasonable justification in a democratic society why we do not have a law that regulates the rights and interests of 70% of the population and my answer is there is no reasonable justification at all why Zimbabwe does not have such a law.”
In August, the Community Youth Development Trust (CYDT) petitioned Parliament protesting lack of youth representation from the district up to the national level as they demanded a 30% quota.
The CYDT in the petition argued they approached parliament to ensure the rights of the youth are constitutionally guaranteed.
“Now therefore your petitioners beseech the Parliament of Zimbabwe to…protect the constitutionally guaranteed right for the youths to be fairly represented at all levels starting with district to national level platforms,” the petition read.