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Zanu-PF MP pushes for 50% youth quota in Parly

ZANU-PF legislator Tatenda Mavetera (proportional representation) has called for a 50% youth quota representation in Parliament, saying Zimbabweans must be embarrassed that its youthful population is still marginalised.

Mavetera said this last week while moving a motion calling on the country to craft enabling legislation to guarantee that youths also get seats in Parliament.

The current Constitution only provides for 60 proportional representation seats for women, as well as two Senate seats for people with disabilities (PWDs).

There are also proposed amendments through the Constitutional Amendment No 2 Bill, which is currently before Parliament to include a 10% youth quota in the legislative body.

"What we are saying as youths is that now we are talking of affirmative action or the youth quota, where we would really like to have at least 25% seats going to the young people, but 25% is the minimum, because we are saying that we would want even more or even 50% on the basis that the youth constitute 70% of the population," Mavetera said.

"We are now marginalised on the demographic dividend, which we are saying we (youth) have got the large numbers and for that alone we are just hoping and it is a fervent call, not that we are demanding the seats," she said.

The young Zanu-PF MP said there is a need to enact a national youth policy so that the proposals for 50% youth representation and empowerment of young people are enforceable.

A number of parliamentarians supported her motion with Gweru Urban MP Brian Dube (MDC Alliance) adding that Zimbabwe must be embarrassed that to date there is no quota for youth representation in Parliament.

"What we are talking about is that we must come up with a law. It must not come as a voluntary gesture or generosity when we are dealing with issues of the youths.

"Is there any reasonable justification in a democratic society why we do not have a law that regulates the rights and interests of 70% of the population? My answer is that there is no reasonable justification at all," he said.

In August, the Community Youth Development Trust (CYDT) petitioned Parliament protesting over lack of youth representation from the district up to the national level.

The CYDT demanded a 30% youth quota.

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