By Kenneth Matimaire
Chipinge, September 07, 2016 – UNEMPLOYED youths from the border area on Saturday blocked an attempt by Zanu PF politicians to hijack a training programme organised by a local NGO to empower them on poultry production.
The training, which was being spearheaded by Platform for Youth Development (PYD), was nearly transformed into a political rally by Zanu PF Ward 26 councillor for Chipinge South, Misheck Busangavanye.
However, more than 100 youths who attended the programme heavily resisted Busangavanye’s attempt to politicise the meeting.
The youths were adamant the meeting had nothing to do with partisan politics but everything to do with their livelihoods.
This did not go down well with the Zanu PF politician who later tried in vain to rope in police and war veterans to stop the meeting.
Wedzerai Gwenzi, who was part of workshop, said youths openly told Busangavanye that the project was meant to benefit every youth regardless of political affiliation.
“I’m shocked that a community leader at the level of a ward councillor is intolerant to accommodate projects meant to benefit the community.
“He wanted to politicise the programme but we openly and respectfully rejected it,” said Gwenzi.
PYD director, Claris Madhuku confirmed the development before indicating that he is not amused by the retrogressive behaviour displayed by Zanu PF politicians.
Madhuku said Zanu PF has since become anti-youth development merchants within the poor district.
He said these were Zanu PF tactics to monopolise resources so they could use them for patronage purposes.
“We have been struggling to convince most people aligned to Zanu PF for them to understand that community projects are more successful if they are free from partisan politics and interference.
“I want to applaud the young people who were at the workshop for protecting the project against malice and narrow partisan politics. I’m encouraged that young people in Chipinge are beginning to heed the message of shunning politics in favour of sustainable community development,” said Madhuku.
The training was part of a series of sustainable programmes lined up for youths.
They include backyard gardening, chicken rearing and fish harvesting.