By Mary Taruvinga
MDC Alliance Harare West MP Joanna Mamombe is one of the five nominees of the prestigious One Young World Politician Of The Year 2020 award.
The 27-year-old legislator, the youngest lawmaker in Zimbabwe, is currently on trial at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts facing charges of filing a false police report that she and her colleagues were abducted, tortured, and sexually assaulted by State security agents in May.
The other two colleagues appearing before the courts with Mamombe are; Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova who are also MDC youth members.
The trio was found dumped and severely injured in rural Bindura, a day after the abduction at a police roadblock near the National Sports Centre in Harare.
The One Young World Politician of the Year Award, annually, recognises five of the world’s most outstanding politicians between the ages of 18 – 35, who are using their positions to have a positive impact on young people in their communities and countries.
Through their work, these candidates highlight the benefit of including young people in politics, and five were this year selected by a panel of respected judges with substantial experience in the field of politics from a shortlist of 15 young politicians from around the world.
One of the judges, Jan Peter Balkenende, former Prime Minister of the Netherlands, said:
“The whole world has been confronted with the terrible consequences of Covid-19. A battle on the coronavirus is ongoing. In that regard, we have to join forces. But we also have to reflect on new perspectives, new views and new solutions for a better world and a sustainable future. Input from young leaders is necessary!”
Commenting on Mamombe, the organisers, One Young World said: “Mamombe has been the subject of numerous state police investigations which are described by Amnesty International as ‘persecution through prosecution’.
“Most recently, Mamombe was detained and charged with allegedly falsifying reports of being abducted and tortured in reprisal for demonstrations she led in May 2020. Mamombe denies these charges and is determined to continue her advocacy for reform.”
The winners will be presented with the award at the One Young World 2021 Summit taking place in Munich, from 23-26 April 2021.
Other finalists are; Erik Marquardt (33) from Germany who works as an MEP in Brussels and Strasbourg, Michael Tubbs (30) from the US who became Stockton’s first African-American and the youngest mayor in the US to represent a city with a population over 100 000, Sarah Elago (30) from The Philippines who is the first female youth representative in the House of Representatives, Zarifa Ghafari (28) from Afghanistan, Mayor of Maydan Wardak Province, and first female mayor in Afghanistan.