Youths Demand 30% MP, Local Council Quota

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By Staff Reporter

PARLIAMENT is studying a petition by youths demanding legislative amendments guaranteeing a 30% representation at all levels for the youth.

The Gwanda-based Community Youth Development Trust (CYDT) in September petitioned Parliament protesting the lack of youth representation from the district up to the national level and demanded a 30% quota.

One provision of the recently proposed Constitutional Amendment is the addition of ten youth quota seats in Parliament.

The CYDT in its petition argued this was not enough as they demanded a 30% quota.

Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda last week said the petition had since been referred to the Parliamentary Committee on Youth, Sport, Arts, and Recreation.

“I have to inform the house that on Wednesday 23 September 2020, Parliament received a petition from the CYDT based in Gwanda requesting Parliament to enact laws to protect the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the youth to be fairly represented at all levels starting from the district to the national level,” he said.

“The petition has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Youth, Sport, Arts, and Recreation.”

CYDT chairperson Zanele Nyathi in a letter accompanying the petition raised concerns over the failure to have a 30% constitutional support youth quota. This, the chairperson argued, deprived them of the right of full representation.

“Therefore, it is against this background that on behalf of youths from Matabeleland South Province we request your office to submit to Parliament the request to have a constitutionally supported youth quota that provides for at least 30% youth representation,” Nyathi’s accompanying letter reads in part.

The CYDT in the petition argued they had approached Parliament to ensure the rights of the youths 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 the district to national level platforms,” the petition reads.

It adds: “Promote youth ability to battle it alone during an electoral process – ensure (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) ZEC sets aside constituencies where youths are able to contest each other. This will see a significant increase of youth representation at Parliament and local governance.”