Outgoing United Nations Development Programme country representative Ms Christine Umutoni has applauded youths for their resilience during the country’s economic problems. She said the challenges faced in Zimbabwe could have forced people to engage in violence, leading to civil unrest.
Speaking at a Zimbabwe Youth Council press reception and her farewell party in Harare last week, Ms Umutoni said the country was experiencing difficulties when she arrived.
“I came here when things were not well for the nation, but the spirit of resilience that has been shown by the Zimbabwean youths during my three- year-stay in the country must be applauded. If they did not have that spirit of resilience there could have been a civil war in Zimbabwe,” she said.
Ms Umutoni shared her experiences from Rwanda, her country of origin, where close to one million people were killed in the 1994 genocide.
“We have seen conflict areas in many African countries because the youths’ energy has not been fully utilised. That energy can be used against a nation, but when fully utilised in a positive way, can help develop a country.
“Look at what happened in Rwanda. There was civil unrest that killed people, but in a minute everything has been changed because of good policies that give youths better opportunities.”