On Wednesday 31st of October it was alleged that a group of ZANU-PF youth broke into the home of the MDC treasurer and brutally assaulted him and his wife in Kadoma. The youth are also accused of having stolen some of the couple’s valuables. There has been speculation about whether the act was politically motivated or just another criminal act, the motive being very important information needed for investigations conducted.
The violence on its own is a symptom of a greater problem and unless the root cause is addressed, it will continue to grow and will only get worse. Violence begets violence and in order to break that chain government needs to set up structures and centres that help keep the youth occupied and out of trouble. Failure to do so will lead to Zimbabwe’s future (youth) dying. There is no excuse for what happened to Mr and Mrs Kinnaird and no human being deserves to be assaulted and put through that kind of trauma, but it is impossible to ignore that the youth of Zimbabwe, regardless of their political affiliation, need help.
Generally the country’s weak economy, characterised by low levels of economic growth and pervasive poverty, has made it difficult for creation of equal opportunities for all social groups. This has created a renewed sense of urgency for action. Youth unemployment is reaching unprecedented proportions globally with over 60% of the youths in Zimbabwe being unemployed.
Unemployment among youth and university graduates is a serious and growing social, economic and political problem in Zimbabwe and the country needs to start paying greater attention to the matter. Unemployment has had impacts in the following areas. Firstly it has led to violence within schools and consequently resulted in the dropout of teachers from work thereby increasing unemployment. Secondly, this has caused some pupils and students to drop out of school and also resulted in lower pass rates. Thirdly, there have been debates about this violence to discover whether the violence was due to unemployment rates or politically related causes.
Policy efforts for the unemployed urban youth should therefore focus on creation of opportunities and harnessing potentialities and progressive efforts for the youth. Idle minds are the devils workshop and eventually this can be a time bomb. It is essential for the government therefore to invest in development of schools, infrastructural development, bridging the gap between government schools and private schools, curbing corruption and also putting in place attractive incentives for the teachers. Politically motivated violence within schools needs to be minimized as well.
The future of our nation is within the hands and minds of our youth. It is important to safe guard them.