Zimbabwean Youth Urged to Participate in Policy Making Process, to Represent “their needs”

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A Catholic Priest in Zimbabwe has encouraged the youth in the Southern African nation to take part in the country’s “policy making processes,” noting that their reluctance in participating in governance matters has compromised their future endeavors.

“I call upon fellow young adults to participate in the policy making processes so that they represent themselves and their needs,” the Vicar General of Zimbabwe’s Catholic Diocese of Mutare, Fr. Phillip Kembo, says in a Tuesday, July 13 reflection.

In his reflection published by the Catholic Church News Zimbabwe, Fr. Kembo notes that the youth do not have confidence to take up public leadership and to represent their interests, a situation that partly explains their suffering amid COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The political environment has played a pivotal role in defining where we are today and where we shall be tomorrow,” the Catholic Priest says, adding, “The failure to participate in what affects us as young people, has led us to where we are today.”

He continues, “Life is not the same for the youth and young adult as their door to a better life remains shut as a result of many challenges compounded by unemployment and the deadly COVID-19.”


Fr. Kembo also notes that the pandemic, which has reportedly infected at least 70,426 people in the Southern African nation including 2,236 deaths and 46,932 recoveries “has become a barrier to many young adults who had invested so much in their professions and education, as well as projects.”

“Coronavirus has completely shut the doors to opportunities and livelihoods for many young people who are forced to stay at home either because of lockdowns or unemployment as companies are closed due to the same predicament,” says the Vicar General of Mutare Diocese.

The Zimbabwean Priest further says that the failure on the part of the youth to choose “those who represent us in policy making processes, is a clear indication that, in a crisis, any policy made, is fine with us.”  

He emphasizes the need for the youth to participate in the country’s governance processes saying, “Unless young people realize the need to stand up and defend themselves, calamities like COVID-19 will heavily impact on them because they lack coping mechanisms to sustain them during disasters.”

He adds in reference to young people in Zimbabwe who seem reluctant to defend themselves, “They will continue to depend on the powers that be instead of being innovative in shaping strategies that save communities from severe attacks of COVID-19 and other disasters.”

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On July 7, Zimbabwe’s government instituted a level four lockdown in a bid to control the spread of the novel coronavirus, including a dusk to dawn curfew, reduced working hours from 8.00 a.m. to 3.30 p.m., and workplaces required to have only 60 percent of capacity, among other measures.

In his July 13 reflection, Fr. Kembo urges the youth in Zimbabwe to live principled, sober lives that are based on the word of God amid coronavirus challenges. 

“Due to the depression that we are going through, having lost our jobs or any financial generating project, we are at the cross-roads wondering which way to follow,” he says.

The Priest adds, “This is the time when one needs to have a principled life, a sober mind and a focused life, based on and especially, on the resurrection of Jesus, that there is life after ‘behind the closed tomb.’”