Exciting new hope for youths Tertiary students sing and dance ahead of their meeting with President Mnangagwa in Harare on Thursday. — (Picture by John Manzongo)

Stephen Mpofu Correspondent
News this week about the role played by Zimbabwe’s youths and engineers, respectively, in the development of the motherland must have left many patriotic Zimbabweans upbeat about our future.

In almost every African country, young people are often sedated with political rhetoric to the effect that they are the future of their country, meaning that the economic and social development of their country lies squarely on the shoulders of the youths.

In reality, however, youths have remained wallowing in the shade as political leaders fear being supplanted by those still enjoying the limelight of their cushy positions and attendant trappings.

Zimbabwe has not been an exception in sending young people to sleep, as it were, by telling them that they are the future leaders.

As a result, young people flaunting high academic attainments, as well as some skills have left the country for greener pastures in neighbouring States where some, if not most of them, have ended up holding down such mundane jobs as domestic workers or as gardeners.

But the launch of the Youth Empowerment Bank by President Mnangagwa two days ago certainly makes young Zimbabweans a force to be reckoned with.

The bank is intended to empower young people in the country’s development by finding various economic projects for them.

That is in a sense the epitome of the new dispensation of President Mnangagwa’s government.

With money available to kick-start their own projects at home, it will be madness, so to speak, for any Zimbabwean to leave the country only to end up as unwanted seekers of plum jobs in foreign lands.

What the new wonderful opportunity opened for them means is that the young men and women should obtain or use skills already acquired to start and grow viable projects as the youths’ contributions to the growth of our economy.

Any involvement by the youths in political violence, for instance, at the behest of political organisations should be a thing of the past as should any engagement in various other social pathologies that have tainted the image of so many a youth in our county to date.

It now behoves on parents and leaders at various structures of society to help to conscientise their off spring and charges, respectively, about the golden opportunity that the government is giving the youths and which should not slip out of their hands and minds so that our beloved Zimbabwe can move into a brave new future for all.

Next, and for want of better phraseology , it is a tragic irony that out of about 6 000 credited mechanical, architectural and scientific engineers only 1 500 remain at home today, according to the President of the Zimbabwe Institute of engineers, Engineer Israel Rwodzi.

What this suggests is that this country is a training ground for other countries to which Zimbabwean engineers flock, with the taxpayers’ money, and a lot of it, spent on training them going down the drain, so to speak.

With foreign investors bringing in capital to help develop Zimbabwe, Eng Rwodzi made a call to Zimbabwe professionals now squatting in foreign lands to return home and help develop the country by providing requisite infrastructure and other necessities for developing the country.

This should, therefore, be regarded by the absentee engineers as a call to duty for them to make a bee line back home to use their expertise in developing the motherland.

In a nutshell, therefore, the future of this country primarily rests on the shoulders of its citizens, young people and professionals, among others, who should work together and patriotically to raise the Zimbabwean flag high in the global village.

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