By Bernard Chiketo
A senior Anglican church cleric has slammed local politicians over their handling of young people who he challenged to unite and assert themselves their demand to be active beyond dirty foot-soldier-assignments.
Reverend Joseph Waziveyi speaking on the sidelines of a Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) ran Business, Leadership and Economic Youth Empowerment Summit which was held at St John’s Cathedral recently said it was disheartening to see young people being used as pawns by selfish politicians who were averse to grooming youths to succeed them.
The priest said there was no good reason for the failure of young people to be given greater responsibilities in both political parties and government beyond selfishness.
“There isn’t any good reason save to protect their own selfish interests because when I look at political players most of them have been in those positions for donkey years. They don’t leave office. They’re so comfortable they just want to use them (youths) during their campaign period and as foot soldiers but they don’t want them to also take over,” Waziveyi said.
He said the church has now realised the abuse and was now working to empower young people to wait for no one in asserting their rights.
“That’s why we’re trying to empower them now to say no, it’s not okay to be used as foot soldiers to do the dirty work of politicians because they should be active players,” he said.
Waziveyi said the huge percentage of young people could even allow them to sponsor their own candidates outside political parties.
“Because of their demographically huge numbers they can even support their own candidates rather than wait on these old people to give them space. They have to demand their space. Its not a privilege to be given that space, it’s their right!” the cleric said.
Waziveyi had earlier told the ZACC hosted youth summit which was held under the theme – Fostering Youth Participation in Building a United, Peaceful, Just and Prosperous Zimbabwe, that church youths should also engage in ethical business startups as another departure from the path set by some elderly people.
“As Christians we must lead by example and work hard in a transparent and accountable manner. Let us embark on ethical startups so as to ensure a brighter future for our nation at large.
Let’s not be limited or demoralized by elders so as to realise your full potential,” the priest said.