Mnangagwa commends Junior Parliamentarians for raising critical issues affecting children

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By Anna Chibamu

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has commended junior parliamentarians for clearly articulating issues affecting children, promising to do more in resolving the challenges.

Addressing the child parliamentarians during the official opening of the 32nd junior parliament and commemoration of the Day of the African Child in Mt. Hampden this Wednesday, Mnangagwa said he was moved by the enthusiasm of junior parliamentarians.

During the session, the junior MPs raised concerns on socio-economic matters including children’s welfare, lack of resources in the health and education sectors, as well as discrimination of those with disabilities and drug and substance abuse among others.

“The manner in which the junior members of Parliament have presented the various issues is commendable.

“As per the responses given, I want to assure you that my government will give due attention to the concerns and ideas raised during this session,” Mnangagwa said.

On their requests for more resources in schools, he said, “The Second Republic will continue to ensure that our children and young people are empowered with the right skills for the future world; especially ICT and scientific knowledge.

“We want you to be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with your peers from across the world.”

This year’s junior parliament has seen the junior parliamentary gathering become a strategic institution among the country’s youths.

This year’s 32nd Session of the Junior Parliament was expanded to include a Junior Senate which is made up of former Child Parliamentarians to enrich the quality and scope of debates within the August House.

Junior President Pious Lwandile Nleya and the Speaker of the Junior Parliament Hon. Sitabile Ntigo were elected last week.

“The junior parliament has not only served as a leadership development and advocacy arm but also a vehicle through which representatives of the youth from all provinces can participate in the governance of our great country.

“We believe that young people have a role to play in building our motherland by bringing to our attention, the challenges faced by the children of Zimbabwe.”

President Mnangagwa told the junior MPs to take the convening of the Junior Parliament seriously.

“This meeting must not be taken lightly. You have made history by meeting for the first time, here at the New Parliament Building, which will also be hosting the SADC Summit in August.

“Use this opportunity to also learn about the policies and developmental projects that are happening in our country.

“The experiences you gain from here should enhance your patriotism, skills, humility and sensitivity to a wider range of issues as you learn the principles of servant leadership. This will help you to better understand and explain various issues to your peers.

“The government is committed to developing you, our young people, into productive citizens and responsible leaders of tomorrow. I commend the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Development and Vocational Training as well as other stakeholders for continuously enhancing this programme,” he told the Junior MPs.