HARARE – The ongoing crisis in Zimbabwe has affected mostly the country’s youth, who find themselves jobless and at the mercy of politicians who use them to engage in political violence, local non-governmental organisation Heal Zimbabwe Trust said in a statement to mark International Youth Day on Friday.

HZT said the commemorations, running under the theme, “The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Consumption and Production”, were coming at a time when high levels of corruption and the economic collapse in Zimbabwe were making it difficult to create jobs for the country’s youth.

“Given past violent electoral periods such as 2008, where there was total economic collapse and high levels of unemployment, it is not debatable that most youths who were abused by political entrepreneurs to perpetrate violence were unemployed,” said HZT.

It said Section 20 of the Constitution mandated the state with creating employment opportunities for its youth and other avenues for economic empowerment. This year’s theme, noted HZT, offered an opportunity for the country to reflect on the progress made in that regard, adding government should also protect the youth from all forms of abuse, including abuse by powerful politicians.

HZT said the youth were supposed to be at the forefront of poverty eradication and achieving sustainable development, but said the environment was not conducive.

“Through various Youth Movements such as #Tajamuka/Sesijikile, youths across the country have lamented against the deteriorating economy and the scourge of unemployment that continues to greatly affect their participation in contributing towards ensuring poverty eradication and achieving sustainable development,” HZT said.

It said the government should not violate the rights of the youths to make their demands known through peaceful protests by arresting or assaulting them. “On the occasion of this year’s Youth day commemorations, Heal Zimbabwe implores the government to uphold and promote a culture where youths enjoy their human rights,” read the statement.

– African News Agency

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