MDC-T youths are ratcheting up pressure to dominate parliamentary and local government seats ahead of this year’s elections amid revelations that they are determined to fight under-representation and complement their youthful presidential candidate, Nelson Chamisa.
Last year the party conceded to the youth’s demand to have at least 20% of the seats reserved for them in each province and pursuant to that, they have since furnished the MDC-T leaders with their desired seats and constituencies.
Youth assembly leader Happymore Chidziva confirmed to NewsDay yesterday that they were focusing on getting as many youths to represent the party in the forthcoming elections.
Already, the party is having a youthful presidential candidate and MDC-T was gearing towards having a youthful outlook on all the representation, as opposed to other political parties, especially Zanu PF, where there is minimal representation of youths.
“I am happy with the decision to give youth some space to represent the party. Our late president, Morgan Tsvangirai, in his national tour and engagement of stakeholders and opinion leaders across the country, was advised on the need to include youth in public office,” he said.
“In president Tsvangirai’s own words, during the consultative workshops with opinion leaders, he always reiterated the need to ensure that the party does not become a one generational movement.
“In other words, what our founding father’s views were hinged upon the unfathomable desire to have young people occupying positions of influence in order for them to be able to determine the path and roadmap of the country.”
NewsDay gathered that in Harare, Chidziva is earmarking Highfield West, while his deputy Shakespeare Mukoyi is targeting Kuwadzana East, held by the party leader, Chamisa.
The youth also want Epworth, Mbare and Mabvuku, among others and more than 20 wards. Harare has 47 wards.
Among those in the youth leadership targeting local authority seats include the assembly’s secretary general Lovemore Chinoputsa (ward 9) and Denford Ngadziore (ward 16).
In Bulawayo, the assembly is targeting at least Bulawayo South and Mpopoma-Pelandaba, among others of the more than 10 wards.
In Manicaland, the youth assembly has so far set eyes on at least five constituencies, namely Mutasa South, Buhera Central, Chipinge West, Chipinge South and Chikanga-Dangamvura, while in Masvingo, they want Masvingo Central, Gutu South and Bikita West.
Although the parliamentary seats demand is in all the provinces, the youth have largely dwelt on local government, where there are many seats.
They said it was important for them to dominate and direct the way affairs are run in many councils.
The youth assembly has also drawn a total of 27 females for the proportional representation slot.
According to the Constitution, 60 members seconded by their respective parties will fill up the slot for proportional representation to fight gender under-representation.
The party also resolved that sitting youth legislators and councillors will not be uncontested.
Acting MDC-T spokesperson, Tabitha Khumalo said the decision to get the youth into leadership positions was to have them apply modern-day skills necessary for the revival of the economy and turn around the fortunes of the country.
“There is need to mainstream youth and women in all decision making positions of the government. Remember, whether we want it or not, there is going to be a generational transfer of power,” she said.