Joseph Madzimure Senior Reporter
VARIOUS activities have been lined up countrywide today as the nation marks the Robert Gabriel Mugabe National Youth Day.
Government set aside the holiday to celebrate the contribution of young people to political and socio-economic development.
February 21 was proclaimed a holiday in 2017 in recognition of the works of the late founding President Robert Mugabe.
There will be sports, music and dance, fashion designing and career guidance among others.
Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister Kirsty Coventry said the commemorations will be held to celebrate the immense contribution of the youth.
“It is thus incumbent upon the youth of today to emulate these gallant fighters by working hard for the common good of the nation and continue to safeguard Zimbabwe’s sovereignty.
“The day is an opportune moment for young people to reflect on the leadership qualities that they need to emulate. It is time for young people to peacefully engage each other and commit to the ever increasing demand for their participation in leadership and national development processes and in particular, join Government efforts to turn around the economic fortunes of our country in line with the Vision 2030 agenda.”
The commemorations which will be held at designated youth interactive centres are aimed at unveiling Government’s empowerment programmes, providing a platform for youth to showcase.
The day provides an opportunity for youths in arts and sport to interact with established personalities and networks.
“Further exhibitions will accommodate important stakeholders and service providers such as Government departments, developmental partners and civic society organisations,” she said.
Zimbabwe National Youth Council head of corporate affairs and resource mobilisation Mr Tanzikwa Guranungo said the main event will be held at Mufakose Cultural Centre.
“We are happy for the Government to recognise the importance of the youth in nation building. The future of this country lies in the hands of the youth.”
He commended the Government for establishing a youth bank, EmpowerBank, for youth to access loans to start their business.
“The Government should fully support the youth through empowerment programmes so that they contribute immensely to the growth of the country’s economy. We expect the Government to give land to the youth to revive the agricultural sector.”
The programme will in the morning and the Minister Coventry will be the guest of honour.
“We have a number of programmes line up countrywide from each and every district to provincial level. Our offices countrywide will be conducting various activities just to commemorate the national youth day,” he said.
Analyst Mr Obert Gutu said the day symbolised the important role that the youth across the political, religious, racial, cultural and ethnic divide should play in national development.
“At least 64 percent of the Zimbabwean population is made of people under the age of 40 and as such, the country’s future firmly belongs to young people.
“Youth should be empowered in various fields of endeavour such as education, agriculture, engineering, the arts industry and information and communication technology.”
Tafadzwa Zvandasara from Epworth said: “It is the time to ask ourselves if we are making adequate preparations to take up the responsibility of shaping the nation. Our President has done a great job in leading by example. He has stood firm in what he believes in because of his love for his people.
“Through his leadership, I have learnt that you should not be intimidated by bullies just because they think they are more powerful than you. We should not rely on other people, but rather work to develop ourselves and in the long run we will enjoy the fruits of our hard work.”